Once Goes Underground For Some Publicity
When it comes to designing a publicity stunt, it has to be something that comes naturally to the product. The fit between the product and publicity stunt needs to feel right otherwise there is the chance that passers-by won’t be left with an impressive impression. And this is something that Once does particularly well!
After the clever Melbourne launch held on the stage of the Princess Theatre, Once has set the bar pretty high for their promotional activities. But it appears that it is not only the Melbourne tour production that knows how to pull off an impressive publicity stunt.
To mark ten years of licensed busking in London’s Tube, the West End cast of Once busked in the famous underground for two hours playing a number of their songs and jamming with other registered buskers. Proceeds from the two hours of busking were then donated to Kids Company, a charity which provides support to vulnerable children.
Check out the video here:
While this is a fantastic publicity stunt for Once, it definitely wouldn’t work for any show. Elphaba from Wicked belting out ‘Defying Gravity’ or the cast of Les Misérables climbing the barricade wouldn’t bring about the same effect. But there is one key reason why it works for Once.
There is a high degree of consistency between busking in the Underground and the musical Once.
The music from the show is suitable to busking as it is a whole group of musicians jamming together. The performance is closely represents the interactive and free-spirited feeling of the show leaving passers-by with an accurate impression of the product (and avoiding any disappointment or misinterpretation from potential audience members).
And, arguably the most important, if the characters in Once were real then they probably would be performing in the London Underground. Especially since the lead male character is a busker in Dublin!
This consistency is incredibly important because it allows the audience an accurate perception of the product and leaves a lasting impression. As opposed to an event that doesn’t quite make sense and leaves the audience confused (especially if they aren’t familiar with the product).
The very impressive stunt sets the bar pretty high for the Melbourne season’s publicity stunts – but I reckon we can still one-up the British effort!