Before it lands on Broadway this spring, the new revival of The Who’s Tommy had a triumphant premiere at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, where it received rave reviews for its sold-out run. A fresh reinvention of The Who’s 1969 rock concept album, Tommy, the musical features classics like “Pinball Wizard” and “I’m Free.”
We’ve partnered with the Goodman since 2012, so when Tommy was announced, we drew on historical knowledge to craft a strategic plan that supported both the initial on-sale and the run itself.
STRIKING THE RIGHT CHORDS WITH STRATEGIC FLIGHTS
Tommy went on sale in March, with performances taking place June through August. Rather than sustain a marketing campaign from March through August, we ran an initial campaign on Meta for 2.5 weeks when tickets went on sale, followed by the main flight later in April as performances grew closer.
The quick burst in March spoke to audiences who wanted to jump on purchasing tickets immediately, while also building up audience pools to retarget later. Much of the budget focused on acquisition audiences to spread the message widely. It paid off; the average cost per page view was incredibly low.
Onsale Cost/Page View
AMPLIFYING MESSAGES WITH GOOGLE CHANNELS
When the main campaigns began, we decided to use Google display and paid search in addition to Meta. The paid search campaign launched in mid-April, a month before display, to capitalize on early search interest for the production.
On display, we included multiple affinity audiences to target people interested in rock musicals, The Who’s music, and theater. For these acquisition audiences, we added in geo-targeting of nearby cities to capture any tourism interest. These display audiences had an extremely low average cost per page view of just $0.13.
Paid search also used a broadened targeting region for bottom-of-funnel audiences. We eventually paused the paid search campaign, as well as the display campaign, because there was no ticket availability!
Google Cost/Page View
REFINING AUDIENCES FOR MELODIC META RESULTS
The Meta campaign also had to end early because of lack of inventory—that’s a problem we like to have!
Just as we did with display, we included several segmented interest audiences, breaking them out into people interested in rock music similar to The Who, people interested in rock musicals, and people interested in theater.
We also took advantage of potential tourist audiences here, expanding our targeting area for select acquisition audiences. With a title like The Who’s Tommy, we wanted to ensure we were reaching audiences willing to travel a greater distance, in addition to the Goodman’s typical geographical radius.