Data Stars on Broadway As DigitasLBI Teaches 'School of Rock'

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School of Rock, The Musical.
School of Rock, The Musical. Credit: Photograph by Perou/Courtesy DigitasLBi

DigitasLBI will help Broadway reach consumers in more contemporary ways as it begins schooling "School of Rock – the Musical" on incorporating data and innovation into its marketing activities.

The agency, which won the account following a competitive review with five agencies, is handling digital media, content, creative and analytics, effective immediately. The review was handled internally for the show, which is bring produced on Broadway by Andrew Lloyd Webber for The Really Useful Group, Warner Music Group, the Shubert Organization and The Nederlander Organization.

Broadway has done some traditional out-of-home, content development and media planning and buying, but it hasn't had a firm digital strategy, said Laurent Ezekiel, managing director of the New York office of DigitasLBi. He added that Broadway's marketing has been stagnant for quite some time and the agency is looking forward to bringing it into the digital era.

"As audience behavior has changed, Broadway maybe hasn't kept up as much as it should have with the way people search and buy tickets," said Mr. Ezekiel. "We put forward a solution that has data at the heart with a proprietary tool that looks at individual behavior portraits and predicts people's patterns when it comes to purchase intent."

He said the tool can be scaled and used to help the brand direct where it should invest money or put more creative content. On the innovation front, DigitasLBI is looking at ways to leverage the group's extensive content on digital and social channels to build buzz with fans in relevant ways.

Some of Broadway's main target audiences for "School of Rock" include tourists, people in the tristate area and fans of the movie. Mr. Ezekiel said the agency is in the process of re-analyzing Broadway's entire audience. One early finding is that people in the tristate area who visit Broadway tend to see at least two shows a year.

Despite its popularity, even Broadway has to keep up with the times and enhance its marketing for the digital age, said Mr. Ezekiel, who noted that having a theater 90% filled versus 93% filled is an enormous difference.

"This is an exciting opportunity for School of Rock, a show with the power to reach a fresh audience inspired by the beloved hit film," said Philip Day, head of marketing for The Really Useful Group, via email. "It's also a chance to spread Andrew Lloyd Webber's wider message of the benefit and life-affirming quality of music, and what better way to do that than through a plan that is innovative."

Prior to DigitasLBI, Broadway has worked with more entertainment-focused shops, such as Situation Interactive.

Budget information for the one-year contract was not disclosed.

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