Production on Othello steps us this week as the team see the launch of their marketing campaign to sell 400 tickets in the remaining fortnight before the play’s opening. With design from Laura Whitehouse and strategy by Isis magazine’s marketing coordinator, the campaign looks set for success. The production team worked hard with local media, and have restructured the traditional trailer-flyer-website approach to theatre marketing, bringing in broadcasters from Cherwell to create a behind-the-scenes preview, and launching an aggressive online campaign in preparation for one week of intense flyering.
“By creating alternative media interest ahead of our print marketing campaign,” said marketing director Love Hedman, “we reduce the need for large expenditure on excessive flyers and leaflets, whose purpose should be to reinforce a brand already well established in the city.” The team also took the decision to keep the production’s creative decisions under wraps from the other newspapers in town, both to drive traffic to their video preview and to place emphasis back on press reviews of the show itself. “We want people to care about the reviews,” said Love, “rather than have previews give our audience any preconceptions.” Holding back on the flow of creative information was also integral to the production’s strategy to make Shakespeare – often seen as an Oxford cliché – as accessible as possible. “We want people to be surprised,” noted producer Andrew Hall. “You can always reinvent Shakespeare, even when a production like ours is traditional in style. Overly detailed previews rob some of that sense of discovery from the audience.”
One member of the review community who will be welcomed with open arms, however, is the Guardian’s legendary theatre critic Michael Billington, who will be hosting workshops on Othello with the cast in the run-up to the show.
Tickets are available at http://www.wegottickets.com/OthelloChristChurch now.