SeatGeek to break first full scale ad effort; hires Fig as agency-of-record
Ticket platform SeatGeek will begin full-scale advertising for the first time in its history, bringing on Fig as agency-of-record following a four-week competitive review.
SeatGeek is looking to amplify its brand awareness post-pandemic as people begin once again attending live events. Seatgeek believes COVID-19 has leveled the playing field against its two larger competitors StubHub and Ticketmaster and is looking for its campaign to reach the market as soon as possible.
The review was conducted quickly given the rapid changes in live event regulations across the country and initially was for project-based work but grew into an AOR relationship says Sarah Kettler, the company's senior director, brand and customer marketing told Ad Age.
“We originally thought we were just going to do project-based work but after talking through with Fig it made sense given this post-COVID period," Kettler says.“We realized that based on our goals and ambitions we could probably better deliver on those with a relationship that didn't just end after the first set of deliverables were handed over, but something that we could evolve and optimize together.”
Despite SeatGeek having the “lowest unaided brand awareness” among the three companies, once people start using the service they become loyal customers says Judith Carr-Rodriguez, CEO of Fig. The pause caused by the pandemic allowed the company, which was founded in 2009, to take a step back and reevaluate its brand identity.
“We've been growing so quickly that we never really took a step back and really started with establishing a brand strategy,” Kettler says. “Jack and Russ started SeatGeek because they believed ticketing could be so much better. What we want to make sure we do with this new brand launch is make sure we continue to bring the tech to the table, but when we talk to consumers, do it in a way that feels relevant and authentic to them.”
Historically SeatGeek focused on performance-based channels in its marketing but will shift to more incremental channels such as video (TV, OTT, digital video) as well as out-of-house advertising. The campaign will focus on the brand’s identity as an innovator in the space through its technology and product offerings in a fun way.
“The challenge for anyone like SeatGeek, Ticketmaster, or StubHub is they don't own the event, they own the buying of the tickets and that's not necessarily a brilliant experience,” Carr-Rodriguez says. “What SeatGeek has tried to do is make the booking process as joyful as the event itself. It's not super serious. We don't need to overthink this and make it seem like it's life or death, it's not, it's just buying a ticket. So that passion and joy needed to come out for their communications.”
SeatGeek has also been looking at new ways to enhance the ticketing experience for its customers. In April, the company launched Rally, an in-app product that allows users to order food from their seats, check the weather, find driving directions to the venue, and order a Lyft home.
As part of the launch The Cleveland Cavaliers, a SeatGeek partner, was the first team to leverage the full power of Rally by launching fully integrated mobile food and beverage ordering that allowed users to order from their seat and pick up their food and drinks at a designated locker in the arena.
SeatGeek has also been looking at ways to pair tickets with NFTs, making the ticket itself a collectible. The secondary ticketing marketplace has developed an NFT prototype and is hoping to deploy the technology in time for the start of the 2021 NFL season and/or 2021-2022 NBA season, according to an article by Yahoo Sports. But there are still hurdles that remain on that front, such as naming rights, limited user experience with NFTs, and the fluctuation in crypto prices.
“The technology has to be a good fit on both sides,” Kettler says. “We really have to think through the right way to roll it out, so it's effective and useful for fans. Obviously, NFTs is a very popular topic right now in the media, but there's still a lot of education and trust that has to go in from a consumer perspective. So, I think we want to make sure we're doing this in a way that really adds to the live event as the ticketing process and isn't just something we roll out quickly.”