Keeping It Fresh
Classics are great. But there is something about new, bright and shiny objects which capture our attention every time. We don’t want to see the same thing over and over again, instead we are on a life long journey to discover the newest, the brightest and the shiniest piece of entertainment. So how do you deal with this innate driving force when you are a long-running entertainment property?
Every entertainment property faces this issue. How do you stay relevant when audiences are looking for the latest and greatest thing? Taylor Swift changed how sound from country to pop. Harry Potter kept outdoing the last movie with even better special effects and simulations. Rachel and Ross became a couple, and then they went on a break, and then they became a couple, and then they broke up again. This constant change keeps audiences interested and stops them from straying to other entertainment brands. But the theatre is a different case . . .
Long-running shows in the theatre don’t fit into the usual entertainment mould of growing with the audience. They do the complete opposite and stay exactly the same. Wicked has been running the same show for twelve years. The Phantom of the Opera is identical to the production that opened back in 1988. And the same sun goes up on Broadway’s landmark production of The Lion King every week. So how do you remain relevant?
It all comes back to promotion. Leveraging the essence of the show but allowing it to manifest in a completely different, bright and shiny, new way. And this is exactly what Broadway’s next-to-be long-running hit has done.
Still running at almost 100% capacity well into its second year, Aladdin needs to keep attracting the family audiences while newer competitors make their way onto the strip. This season alone will feature School of Rock and Tuck Everlasting along with some new family-friendly revivals returning such as Fiddler on the Roof. So how is the show making itself appear new amongst many new rivals?
Aladdin has created a new promotional series of videos featuring the stars of the musical showing off their talents in a new light. Adam Jacobs (Aladdin) and Courtney Reed (Jasmine) cover Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’. Jonathan Freeman (Jafar) has brought together a medley of Disney’s villainous songs. And James Monroe Iglehart (Genie) has reimagined his show-stopping ‘Never Had a Friend Like Me’ into a groovy jazz number. Check it out below.
These videos look new. They sound new. And they portray the show in a new light while capturing the same Disney essence that people will love when they see Aladdin. But most importantly, they will stand out against the other Aladdin promotional material that potential audiences have already seen and are now ignoring due to repetition.
All it takes to grab the attention of potential audiences is something new, bright and shiny. It doesn’t need to be the whole experience . . sometimes it just needs to be the way it has been portrayed to make them pay attention again!