Beating the Christmas Promotional Rush

As soon as we make it to the month of December all products suddenly become the ‘perfect Christmas gift’ . . . and the same can be said for musicals. This last month has featured many new promotions pushing gift cards for ticket agencies and specific shows across the world. And while they may be the perfect gift for many theatre lovers, all these productions face one problem!



There isn’t a busier time of year when it comes to promoting your product than the Christmas season. Everybody is trying to shout their message over all their competitors – and at this time the competition runs thick and fast.

While shows may have previously been competing with other entertainment offerings, a whole new bunch of competitors drop in over the festive month. Suddenly tickets to musicals are in direct competition with gift baskets, luggage, vouchers and even the indomitable chocolate industry! So it gets a lot more difficult to make yourself heard.

There are many responses to this increased period of competition that have been attempted by these productions during December. But I just want to look at two of my favourites.

Christmas Strategy #1: The 12 Days of Christmas

The overwhelming theme of this year’s Christmas marketing strategies (across all industries) seems to be the 12 Days of Christmas. Maybe it is because it provides relevance for eleven more days than usual for a new strategy? Regardless, many organisations have taken this opportunity to create a 12 Days of Giveaways where they encourage consumers to interact with their social media pages in order to compete for free prizes.

This may not directly lead to purchases, but it does keep the brand top of mind for interested consumers. However, due to the interconnected nature of social media, all your friends now get to see when you interact with other pages.

Take the Singin’ in the Rain example. In order to enter the competition, all entrants need to like and share each day’s post. So not only are the interested consumers engaging with the product, but they are telling all of their friends that they are incredibly interested in Singin’ in the Rain . . . for twelve days straight!

Now everyone knows what to get them for Christmas.

Christmas Strategy #2: Christmas Pageantry

In Australia, Channel 7 and 9 each have the tradition of broadcasting a night’s entertainment of live carols with Carols in the Domain and Carols by Candlelight, respectively. While they may provide opportunities to spread the Christmas joy through a night of fun family entertainment, they also allow great exposure for gift giving promotion.

While I don’t suggest that promotion should be quite as blatant as Mrs. Clause directly suggesting that Mel Doyle buy her husband a Red Balloon gift card on Carols in the Domain, they offer great opportunities for musicals – such as Grease at this year’s Carols in the Domain and Les Miserables at Carols by Candlelight.

Generally touring shows will take up the opportunity to perform a Christmas carol (and sometimes a song from the show) on these live broadcasts which place them in the homes of majority of Australia’s television watchers. And with the introduction of electronic tickets, tickets to these shows now make the perfect last minute gift for a forgotten niece or nephew!

Plus, they also serve as a reminder as to how some of that Christmas money should be spent!

To all my readers, I hope you have a wonderful festive day tomorrow filled with good cheer and good will. And if you haven’t had enough of Christmas carols yet, check out the cast of Wicked performing at Carols in the Domain back in 2009 for an example of my second Christmas Strategy!

Merry Christmas.