Situation Interactive: Uses Social Media To Promote Broadway
Damian Bazadona never intended to found a Broadway agency. Before launching Situation Interactive, an agency specializing in the theater business, he had only seen one or two Broadway shows.
Now, he's an avid theatergoer who built Situation Interactive to create marketing that influences people just like him: Consumers who weren’t originally theater fans, but have the potential to be.
Founded as a one-man shop in 2001, Situation didn’t hire its first employee until 2004. The agency now employs 60, with offices in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, as well as its New York headquarters.
Despite its success, Bazadona promises Situation will remain independent. “I like that I hold all the risk. It's allowed me to create a tight-knit culture of passionate employees.”
Situation prides itself on being a full-service shop with design development and “ideation” teams. But it's the agency's social media team that really draws audiences, especially those already at the shows.
Situation’s use of on-the-spot social media has helped promote long-running Broadway hits like "Mamma Mia!"
When users checked into the theater on FourSquare, they received a message directing them to a merchandise stand where they received a button that read, “I like (in the Facebook sense) Mamma Mia!”
The “Mamma Mia” marketing is an example of what Situation calls the “four Cs of the Live Experience:” cost, convenience, commitment, and connection with the brand.
Those four Cs serve as Situation’s template for all its campaigns. How else, asks Bazadona, can we convince a family of four from Connecticut to come into Manhattan and spend a lot of money for a show they may know little about?
Situation has done work for some of the biggest shows in New York, such as "Wicked," "Rent," "Billy Elliot," "War Horse," and even the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. In order to create a culture around a particular show, Situation’s social media team reaches out to existing and new fans.
Aside from the promotional marketing work they do, the social media team also handles social publishing, as well as the client's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts. For "Wicked," the always-sold-out Broadway hit, Situation was tasked with using the show’s 400,000 Facebook fans to play six games over eight weeks to raise awareness for charitable causes. That gave fans a chance to earn tickets and show merchandise.
The fans were encouraged to interact with the cast, who made videos encouraging fans to announce the results of the games. Utilizing YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, the campaign surpassed engagement benchmarks that were originally set.
While Broadway is the agency’s bread and butter, its reach extends far beyond the theater district, including Las Vegas acts to sporting events.