Playbill Picks Best Theater Stories for 2008

January 7, 2009

SpotCo’s marketing campaigns get top billing

NEW YORK, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ — Playbill.com put the topping on the cake for SpotCo by choosing several examples of the white-hot advertising agency’s campaigns from 2008 in the publication’s top theater stories for the year.

The year 2008 has already proven the best-ever for SpotCo, which represented an astounding 62 Tony nominations last year, resulting in 14 Tony wins, including Best Play and Best Musical. The advertising agency, which represents the lion’s share of shows running on Broadway, continually breaks with convention, taking marketing and advertising to the edge with inventive, often irreverent campaigns. If it’s a SpotCo ad campaign you’ll know it right away because people will be talking about it.

The wild success of the new play Shrek, mentioned twice in Playbill’s top theatre story, points to why SpotCo has catapulted into Broadway’s hottest ad agency. No other shop is as adept at creating innovative, ground-breaking campaigns that are sophisticated, engaging, and most importantly, can cut through an environment saturated with entertainment options. Shrek’s success is not a surprise to SpotCo’s founder Drew Hodges: “Shrek gave us the opportunity to conceive ideas that people will talk about and remember by integrating the film’s parody of old-school fairy tales and taking that irreverent formula to the Broadway musical.” The posters poke fun at songs and song titles from other Broadway musicals. The hilarious theme of the Shrek ads sets the tone: “Broadway’s getting a make-ogre.”

Playbill kicked off its top theater story coverage by paying homage to Internet marketing and the use of the power of YouTube as a free, easily accessible marketing tool. During the Tony Awards season, Xanadu highlighted the show’s (slim) chances of victory through a succession of YouTube videos featuring fictional pre-teen Tony Campaign Manager Cubby Bernstein. This campaign was followed by the recurring “Legally Brown,” in which Broadway luminaries such as Matthew Morrison and Allison Janney competed to become the next Piragua Guy, a minor part in the musical In the Heights. SpotCo did the creative advertising for both shows.

Drew Hodges, SpotCo’s Founder, President and Director of Creative Services, said “The Internet is enhancing the value of the Broadway experience, rather than stealing people away from it.” For instance, he noted, audiences use the Internet to exhaustively research purchases: “They still will celebrate occasions at a Broadway show, but they will use the web to ensure they get the best value.”

As illustrated by the inspired Cubby Bernstein serial videos, which generated more than 750,000 hits on YouTube and attracted vast numbers of key younger viewers not traditionally associated with theater, SpotCo’s cutting-edge web savvy has produced viral campaigns with astonishing impact. SpotCo is admired for its ability to tap into the Internet to take advantage of its global community, such as using web marketing for show tunes to ensure his clients’ audiences are satisfied with their investment. Another viral campaign coup was SpotCo’s cool website for Shrek called Shrekster, which mocks the conventions of social networking sites like Friendster and Facebook.

Finally, SpotCo clients Billy Elliot and 9 to 5 were also highlighted in Playbill’s top theater stories.

The SpotCo juggernaut forges ahead in 2009!


    Diane Blackman
    (212) 989-3646

    Cindy Rakowitz
    (818) 783-3307

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Source: newswire

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