How creative, media and PR boosted Tony Blair's ticket sales
How do you build interest in a rock opera about former PM Tony Blair? Mediabridge, The Grove Media and Amanda Malpass PR combined to put him on the back of a lorry and drive him through the streets of London - move that boosted ticket sales by 300%. It also won the Limited Budget award at The Drum Awards for Out of Home. Here is the award-winning case study.
‘TONY! The Tony Blair Rock Opera’ is a hilarious satirical musical that has received widespread acclaim since its run began. Exploring the comical intersection of politics, religion, power, and romance, the musical takes us on the journey of Tony Blair’s life, from peace-loving former Trotskyist and wannabe Jagger-esque rockstar to an unpopular multimillionaire with the lowest approval ratings during and after the Iraq war, over the course of just a few decades.
The team behind ‘TONY! The Tony Blair Rock Opera’ wanted to play on Tony’s political reputation and leverage the medium of OOH to build organic PR coverage of the musical ahead of its London run. Keeping the original feeling of fun and satire in mind, the team wanted to take an unconventional approach that went straight to the scene of the crime by playfully bringing Tony Blair back to Westminster. The budget was small, and they needed to pack a punch on the launch day of the musical’s London dates. With that in mind, the objective was to create a fun, one-day stunt that would hit London’s most politically influential hot spots associated with Tony Blair.
Drive awareness of the musical.
Boost ticket sales.
Capture the attention of the press to amplify the musical nationwide via a one-off, PR-worthy, real-world experience.
Out of Home (OOH) provides brands with a unique way to capture the attention of the public and lead to conversations by sparking curiosity with out-of-the-box campaigns. Working alongside DR5, Amanda Malpass PR, and The Grove Media, Mediabridge selected a digivan for an eight-hour spectacle on April 25th, driving a carefully curated route encompassing iconic landmarks synonymous with British politics. This would deliver a high-impact, cost-effective mobile billboard campaign and a standalone guerrilla marketing tactic offering coverage in political locations where static OOH advertising was unavailable for a day.
Using mobile out of home meant having dynamic advertising in place of a physical presence on the high street, a clever and dexterous use of the medium to grab attention in the capital’s political heartland. OOH is not renowned for its audio capabilities, so planning ensured that those who saw the OOH campaign also heard the musical’s key moment, featuring 12.5sqm of digital advertising screen and stereo audio blasting ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ – the Labour Party’s 1997 election tune. The campaign strategically targeted government locations like the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Bridge, Big Ben, and the Labour Party Head Office, planning a bespoke schedule and route placing the posters and music at the heart of the political campus on an inherently politically active day.
Achieved 24,000 impressions within 8 hours of the campaign being live.
Positive uplift in sales following the campaign.
The campaign achieved press pickup, with Westminster activity featured on national television, ITV News at 10.
Editorial placement delivered an additional 2.68 million impressions.
Conservative estimate of £12k in additional media value.
The digivan allowed the ad to be seen by the right people at the right time, encouraging measurable, incremental sales and capturing media attention.
The PR-worthy campaign led to a 300% increase in average sales per day immediately following the activity.
The success of the campaign led to its replication in key regional markets, further amplifying the client's reach and presence.