Promoting a Comedy. Part 1: The Brochure

There is a fine art to creating a brochure. Selecting the right picture or image. Using a contrasting set of colours that stands out, yet is still enjoyable to read. Balancing the picture and important text. And capturing the spirit of a show in a small glossy which potential audience members will evaluate in approximately 3 seconds. No pressure!


Good brochures are important for established comedy acts – but they are absolutely essential for the up-and-coming performers. Majority of the ticket sales for the big acts will be made online before people head out to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival because audience members don’t want to miss out. But the same cannot be said for the rest.

Audience members at the Comedy Festival may book a couple of big shows that they desperately want to see. But they can usually be tempted to see another show that night which they haven’t booked (at least that is what the huge crowd of potential audience members outside the Melbourne Town Hall leads me to believe!).

When it comes to this extra wildcard show, the brochure is of paramount importance. And after visiting the brochure booth outside the Melbourne Town Hall, I wanted to share some of the best from the festival!

Simon Keck – Let’s Write A Book

Simon KeckStanding out is always important. And in the sea of Comedy Festival brochures there are the same two generic sizes; your generic long brochure size and the A6 glossy (which once was an innovative, stand-out-from-the-crowd size but now everyone is doing it!).

As the title would suggest, there is a different sized brochure which Simon Keck could use for his show about writing a book . . . a bookmark. And he has done just that. It may be smaller than the rest, but it stands out none the less. It even captures the spirit of the show in a millisecond and as soon as the audience member sees the word ‘book’ in the title on a bookmark they already know what to expect and there is immediately less risk in spending time checking out the brochure.

Xavier Toby – Mining My Own Business

Xavier TobyThe same idea of standing out can be seen with Xavier Toby’s new show. On the same topic as his recent book release about being a Fly In Fly Out worker at a mine surrounded by the blokiest of blokes, his brochure comes in the form of a disposable coaster. Perfectly suited to the style of show audience members are about to see.

Celia Pacquola – Let Me Know How It All Works Out

Celia PacquolaThere is nothing like accolades to get a potential audience member to check out your brochure. And Celia’s is full of them! Running across the top are her nominations and the awards that she has won decorated with a suitable gold wreath. Then immediately below her name and show title are all the big-name shows that she has appeared on including Offspring, Spicks & Specks, Rove and Have You Been Paying Attention?.

The awards (and getting a role on an Australian television show deserves an award) are great incentives for a potential audience to spend time checking out your show.

Joel Creasey – Rock God

Joel CreaseyNow, this one is my favourite. Lining the top of his brochure is an endorsement from Joan Rivers which reads “He’s a f*cking star! I love him!”.

I asked the assistant behind the desk for the Joel Creasey brochure. And while both of us were looking for the Rock God brochure, we were actually looking for the Joan Rivers quote. The Joel Creasey show and the Joan Rivers endorsement, which has appeared prominently on all his advertising, have become so interlinked that you can no longer think of one without thinking of the other. And if there is any comedy royalty that a comedian would kill to plaster across the top of their flyer – it is Joan Rivers!

Make sure you check out the brochure stand yourself and find out about the great shows that are appearing in this year’s festival. For more information on any of the acts above, visit