On 5th September 2017, An American in Paris celebrated its 200th performance in the West End. To mark the occasion, the client need a wow-factor moment that would be in keeping with the show’s thematic connection to Paris, as well as create an opportunity to generate a huge social media impact.
An experiential performance is a great way to create an impactful promotional marketing moment in a short space of time, with a huge potential to generate eye-catching coverage. We’d previously worked with the Eurostar team to take Magic Radio to Paris for a one-off broadcast from the city of love, and knew that St Pancras station was a hugely relevant place for a performance of our Paris-based musical.
The station is well known for bringing together music and the community in a stunning setting. Recently, they’ve played host to some of the biggest music stars, from John Legend to Ed Sheeran as well as local artists such as No Hunger Orchestra and Urban Voice Collective. As well as welcoming international visitors to London, the St Pancras teams also look to create magical moments for the 1 million Londoners and other UK based travellers who commute through the station - so it felt the perfect fit for what the production could offer them.
We knew that the station would also be perfect to factor in other touch points to prompt commuters to purchase tickets as a result of the activity.
The principal cast members appeared in costume for the opening section in a medley of songs from the show, swiftly followed by six couples from the ensemble emerging from the audience in “normal clothes” to do a full routine to “I Got Rhythm”, adding an unexpected “flash mob” element. An accompanist played the famous Elton John piano to further amplify the performance. The medley was performed three times in total, at half hour intervals.
We sourced a filming company to capture the performance and edit a final version to share the following day and liaised with the station’s PR, who arranged a photographer to capture the cast in key locations at the station.
To create further engagement at the station we arranged to have yellow roses with branding of the show attached to be handed out to passers by, along with branded Oyster card holders with details for a special ticket offer inside. We also printed flyers for a competition to win tickets to the show, which were displayed in shops on the station concourse.
The activity resulted in excellent coverage in national, regional and online titles as well as highly engaged social content. The performance received 86% Gold Tier coverage in seven titles, including The Times, Time Out and Official London Theatre. There were a further five pieces of social media coverage, which concluded in a total reach of 3.2million. The video of the performance was shared on Time Out’s Facebook channel, which resulted in 331k views, 6.7k reactions, 1.1k shares and 751 comments.
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