Chicago Shakespeare Theater uses rich media messaging to build mobile database
By Chantal Tode
March 12, 2013
Chicago Shakespeare Theater used rich media messaging to engage opted in audience members with a campaign that helped bring a famous painting to life and drive awareness for an upcoming performance.
The theater group used rich media messaging to send opted-in audience members exclusive video content on their mobile devices that could be shared on Twitter and Facebook, driving viral awareness of an upcoming production. More than 14 percent of opted-in users shared the rich content they received on their Facebook page while more than 17 percent agreed to receive future updates from Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
“Rich Media Messaging is a mobile messaging technology that offers the most intimate and direct form of communication when compared to other mobile touch points,” said Cezar Kolodziej, president and CEO of Iris Mobile, Chicago, IL.
“The behavior developed by mobile users with mobile messaging is such that we open and read virtually every message, not like email or other channels,” he said.
“Now, with the ability to send rich content, any entertainment or arts company can push trailers, previews and last-minute announcements to share the latest news with audiences in a visual rich format that is directly delivered to their mobile devices anywhere and anytime.”
An artfully crafted campaign
The campaign was developed to build awareness for an upcoming production of “Sunday in the Park with George.”
To kick off the campaign, the theater group held a live performance by actors from the musical at the Art Institute of Chicago. The actors performed in front of a life-sized replica of the famous painting by George Seurat, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte," which depicts a variety of people engaged in park activities and is the basis for the musical “Sunday in the Park with George.”
The replica was missing key figures from the original work of art and after the performance, the audience was encouraged to join a mobile messaging campaign to discover the secret of the missing characters.
Opted-in audience members received a video explaining how the missing characters in the painting have come to life in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s new musical and encouraged them to buy tickets to see the performance.
Iris Mobile’s rich media messaging platform automatically optimized content for different mobile devices so opted-in users were able to view content clearly on their screens at standard messaging rates.
Results also show that 21.7 percent of the customers that participated in the campaign had feature phones while 78.3 percent had smartphones.
“This campaign is based on the most prevalent behavioral mobile technology, which is messaging,” Mr. Kolodziej said.
“Since messaging is a top behavior of mobile phone users, it resonates very well with the wide demographics of audience members,” he said.
“This is why the Chicago Shakespeare Theater campaign achieved very high engagement rates.”
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York
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