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Chicago Theater Fills Seats by Using Rich Media Messaging

Thursday, September 12, 2013   (0 Comments) (08/05/13) Kolodziej, Cezar

The Chicago Shakespeare Theater's promotion of the musical "Sunday in The Park With George" was challenged by significant audience attrition, as well a promotional budget under $10,000. The theater worked with an advertising agency to encourage patronage of the fall production through a mobile messaging campaign. The effort was launched with a live performance by actors from the musical at the Art Institute of Chicago, against the background of a famous George Seurat painting with key characters missing. Afterwards, the audience was encouraged to opt into the mobile messaging campaign about the absent characters, and to purchase tickets for the musical. Opted-in users also were enrolled in a contest to win free tickets to a Chicago Shakespeare Theater production, a Chicago cultural weekend, or tickets to Paris. The mobile messaging technology enabled users to get exclusive video content that they could share on Facebook or Twitter. More than 14 percent of opted-in users shared the rich content they received on Facebook, while more than 17 percent agreed to receive future updates from the theater via messaging. Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Sean Brennan says the mobile messaging campaign helped generate positive buzz for the production and "provided an innovative way for us to engage with theater enthusiasts in Chicago."

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