In It For The Long Haul: Creating Lasting Advertising Campaigns

When it comes to theatre, advertising campaigns only last as long as the show they are promoting. This could be no more than a few months, or even a few weeks. But then there are your shows like Avenue Q (13 years strong!) or Phantom of the Opera (coming up on year 30), and established companies with advertising and marketing plans that outlast the individual shows they present.

Your timeline has a huge effect on the goals of your campaign and the plan you implement to achieve them.


Short-term campaigns focus more on driving immediate traffic and sales. This means discount offers, group sales, and pay-per-click ads.

Long-term campaigns require a little more patience and commitment. You’ll need to invest in tactics that retain loyal customers and expand your reach to a broader audience. This means things like SEO and social media content amplification are important. It also means you’ve got to find big ideas that stick.

When you have to keep your marketing and advertising efforts going long-term, how do you keep the magic alive?


Longstanding retail companies, restaurant chains, and food services have been doing it for years.

Here’s a few takeaways from brands that know how to keep a campaign going:

>>Lean Into What Works.

In improv comedy, players establish characters by thinking, “if this is true, what else is true?” The same theory can be used in advertising. When you find something that resonates with audiences–such as a tagline, mascot, or mission–find all the new ways you can keep sharing that same message.

For example, if Chick-Fil-A’s cows want to convince you to “Eat Mor Chikin” by painting it on a billboard, they’ll also probably picket the White House and de-friend you on Facebook if you don’t.  Read more about The Cow Campaign.

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>>Tweak To Stay Current.

You never want to be the brand that “doesn’t get it.” Staying relevant means staying a part of the conversation. How can you create a new campaign or tweak a current campaign to embrace what the world is talking about?

From “buying the world a Coke,” to “sharing a Coke” with someone by name, to “sharing a Coke and a song” with lyrics you love, Coca-Cola keeps finding new and current ways to tap into the idea that Coke brings people together.

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>>Listen To Your Audience.

The feedback and engagement you receive from your audience is your most valuable piece of data. Show customers that their opinion matters to you by adjusting what isn’t working and finding ways your values can link up with theirs.

Dove has always been about beauty, but in 2004, the company began to take a closer look at what the idea of beauty really meant to the women who purchase their products. Over the past decade, the Dove “Real Beauty” campaign has continued to speak to their target market in an authentic way.

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We hope you find yourself with a show or company that stands the test of time, and that your biggest problem is fueling the love for a long-term campaign.

Here’s to making it last!