Recent hit shows from the Sound of Music to Joseph have driven the reversal in fortune of West End theatres, which had suffered a trend in declining ticket revenue and profits in the last decade. In January 2008, the Society of London Theatre announced a record breaking year in 2007 with more than 13.6 million theatregoers generating total tickets sales of almost £470 million, passing the £400 million mark for the first time. The Society's Chief executive Richard Pulford cited the revenue statistics as an “annus mirabilis” for London theatre, stating that “these figures are a wonderful start to our centenary year but we're under no illusions that we're going to have to work very hard to maintain this success” (Maev Kennedy., 2008).
[...] Indeed Vine comments that the multi-channel world and evolution of entertainment streams has rendered the recording of a traditionally formatted serious play difficult to translate to the small screen and appeal to an audience with an increasingly short attention span. As such, whilst Spacey's arguments clearly highlight the need to address the wider issues facing the industry along with the need to implement consistent strategies to encourage and facilitate the development of serious drama at ground level, the primary issue facing marketing and advertising in the West End is funding budgets. Whilst the Government fails to acknowledge the need to reach a compromise between spiralling Olympic costs and funding [...]
[...] “Unless it looked a lot more like Masterchef and a lot less like Any dream or pop idol, it would be hard to imagine young kids being enthused about anything other than being on another talent show” Vine., 2008). The above analysis highlights that the proliferation of the Internet with the multiple media streams and channels has challenged traditional marketing and advertising strategies in entertainment, competing with the multi-channel entertainment world to attract and retain customers. As such, the focus on generating profits and revenue has arguably benefited a privileged minority with the funds to weather Arts funding cuts and lack of budget to generate much needed exposure. [...]
[...] Indeed, it would appear that shows such as the Sound of Music and Oliver are arguably not in need of significant box office boosts from a talent show thereby negating the argument that the TV shows are needed to revive theatregoers. This is further highlighted by the lack of funding for less known plays which do not lend themselves to mass public castings, which appeals to the format and success of reality TV shows. Furthermore, the selective backing by the BBC of a few obvious musical favourites fails to expose the broad range of theatre in need of exposure. [...]
[...] The focus of this analysis is to evaluate the evolving and changing nature of marketing and advertising in London's West End particularly in context of Spacey's comments regarding the demise of funds and advertising into “serious” drama. Firstly, the trend of declining sales and profits in the last decade has clearly created the need to re-evaluate marketing strategies and advertising in the West End. This is further compounded by the lack of Arts funding cuts due to the Olympics. However, the efficacy of any marketing strategy is inherently linked to the funding available to execute marketing and advertising. [...]
[...] Moreover, the proliferation of the Internet and new media technologies has spread the dispensable income available for traditional customer bases across multiple entertainment streams. The technically savvy youth have in fact fuelled the drive for recent collaborations with television to attract audiences to the theatre. For example, the new wave of reality TV shows tapped into traditional marketing strategies and surveys regarding typical gender, age and income along with ratings of theatre facilities and consumer behaviour triggers for going to the theatre. [...]
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