The Pekoe Magic 8 Ball: Our Predictions For What’s Next In Theatre

The Pekoe Group is celebrating 8 freaking awesome years!

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As we creep up on a decade of advertising and marketing for the arts, we have to admit we’ve seen a lot. The world of theatrical marketing has taken on new ideas, new media, and new voices…and it’s been a blast to be part of it all!

Now we’re doing what we do best and looking ahead to what’s next.

Here are our 8 big predictions for the future of Broadway:

1. More Digital

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If you didn’t see this coming, you may wanna check your connection… Every day brings new platforms to follow; new apps to snap a pic, share a meme, or gift a GIF; and ultimately, new ways to make an impression. With increasing opportunities to reach your target market, digital advertising will only become more important.

2. More Diversity

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Wherever you’re from, whatever you look like, whoever you love, whatever you believe, whoever you voted for… Broadway is for you. Last year, Waitress and Eclipsed had all-female creative teams and all four musical acting Tony Awards went to people of color. But the fight to tell stories as diverse as America itself is far from over. Good thing Broadway knows how to tell a great story.

3. More Voices of Change

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Contrary to what you may have heard, the world needs the arts now more than ever. We predict that the brilliant artists in the Broadway community are going to take on the injustices of the world without hesitation by creating theatre that evokes change. To change a policy, you need to change a mind, and to change a mind, you need to change a heart. Sounds like a job for Broadway.

4. More Theatre

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24 shows are slated to open on Broadway between now and the Tonys, with more than five times that opening Off-Broadway. That’s a lot of theatre. With the increasing opportunities for new stories and new voices, we foresee the number of openings growing even more with fierce revivals, groundbreaking new work, and everything in between. *Excuse us while we turn into heart eyes emojis*

5. More Millennials

If Oh, Hello on Broadway has shown us anything, it’s that millennials will buy tickets to theatre. It’s no secret that Broadway is looking to reach Millennials (a quarter of the US population). Luckily, the new voices on stage and new technology to reach audiences are bound to encourage millennials to come out to the theatre! (Plus, having a younger audience will likely influence the theatre and advertising being done. It’s a circular process.)

6. More Data

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With the increase in digital advertising comes the increase in analytics. The future is going to take a deep dive into the demographics and psychographics of your audience. Just remember, as you sharpened the ability to learn the who, what, when, where, why, and how of it all – remember to use your knowledge for good and allow it to help you connect on a real level.

7. More Personal

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As we get more data-driven, we will also get more humanity-driven. Gone are the days of “it worked for that, it’ll work for this.” The ability to curate targeted data, means the ability to know your audience on a pretty individualized level…something people are coming to expect. It’s no longer about groups of people, it’s about individuals and how you can reach them in a way that feels personal.

8. More Experiential

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You may have noticed the rise in immersive theatre. And while this trend seems to be sticking around, we have a feeling it is going to go beyond just actors in the aisles. Individual-focused marketing efforts will bring more in-theatre experiences and larger-scale promotional stunts. Audiences are looking for that ‘grammable moment, that tweetable memory, and that totally unique can’t-get-it-just-anywhere experience.