Fresh from a sell-out season on Broadway, Spiegelworld and Nine Live partnered to bring comedy, circus, vaudeville and burlesque show EMPIRE to Australia. The problem was they were virtually unknown here.
Nine Live – which had originally planned for EMPIRE to run as a short tour with shows in Sydney and Melbourne – approached Isentia's Strategy & Content team (formerly King Content) in the latter part of 2012. The brief was to create an online marketing strategy that would generate excitement, brand advocacy and ticket sales.
Our goal was to “provide content as outrageously sexy, fun and interesting as the show to entice audiences and drive ticket sales”. To execute this vision, we knew EMPIRE required its own platform and social media properties.
In approaching the project and having reviewed Spiegelworld’s US assets, it was decided that localised digital assets, rather than Spiegelworld’s traditional channels, would be the most effective approach for building brand advocacy.
A dedicated EMPIRE Australia content microsite and supporting Facebook and Twitter channels were created. The aim was that these content distribution channels would not only amplify videos, news, blogs and made-for-social content, but also deliver easily measurable results.
On the EMPIRE microsite, vibrant videos and imagery sat alongside strategic blog content designed to build excitement around the performers, their acts and the inner workings of the show. Content was regularly updated and created to target local audiences as the show’s season grew to be a national one. To ensure our content was performing well, we expertly tracked the buyer journey from social to the microsite and then to the ‘buy tickets’ landing page.
The results exceeded even our expectations…
At its highest point, the EMPIRE Australia microsite received more than 26,000 visits a month with more than 40 per cent of these visitors going on to purchase tickets. The Facebook page attracted in excess of 8500 ‘likes’ – nearly double that of the existing US page.
After the initial season in Sydney and Melbourne, Nine Live, which was managing marketing and ticket sales for the event in Australia, finished its involvement with EMPIRE. Based on the strong results we delivered for Nine Live, Spiegelworld then approached us to be its social and content provider for the duration of the tour, which it oversaw independently.
Because of the brilliance of the EMPIRE show and the success of the digital campaign, what started out as a small tour of two cities evolved into a 16-month national tour of Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Newcastle and Canberra (while Sydney and Melbourne enjoyed second sell-out seasons).
At the end of the campaign, which ceased after the final Australian show in May 2014, the EMPIRE microsite had delivered more than $5.22 million in ticket sales.
Spiegelworld went on to appropriate the EMPIRE website and social media communities, rebranding them and solidifying their presence as Spiegelworld Australia.
"Our challenge was to market a show that had never played in Australia and had no name recognition. King Content provided us with a digital solution beyond just a website that helped educate and inform a new audience and ultimately increased tickets sales – achieving our main objective.’’
– Jane Barry, project operations manager, Nine Live