Overheard at Angus Vol. XI: Why Spider-Man was so expensive.

I went to the theater this week, and stood next to two lovely ladies who were deciding what show they were going to see together next.

Lovely Lady #1:  My granddaughter is on Christmas vacation.  Let’s take her to a show.  What should we see?

Lovely Lady #2:  How about Spider-Man?

Lovely Lady #1:  Oh no.  Not that.

Lovely Lady #2:  How come?

Lovely Lady #1:  Because, well, I just don’t like how much money they spent on that show.

Lovely Lady #2:  I heard they spent $75 million dollars.

Lovely Lady #1:  That’s true.  And you know what I heard?  The reason it was so expensive was that they used all that money to buy the buildings.  And I just don’t like that the money I’m spending on the ticket is being used to buy them real estate.

Funny, right?

Well, kind of.  I picked this “Overheard” conversation to remind us all that what we think our consumer knows, may not at all be what the consumer knows.

I was so fascinated by these folks that I actually interrupted their conversation to find out a little bit more about them.  They were both women in their upper 60s, well educated, and they saw MANY shows per year.  They often responded to Direct Mail discounts to get their tickets.

My point is that these folks were in the know, yet somehow they got in in their head that the Producers of Spider-Man were using their bucks to buy buildings.

Now maybe this is a fluke.  Maybe they are the only people that think this.

But it’s a great reminder that . . .

Your job as a Producer is to send out a message about a show . . . a message that you want your customers to know.  Then your job is to listen and see what the message is that they are hearing.  And then, if you don’t like what you hear, you’ve got to change it.

That’s what marketing is all about.  If marketing were a computer program written it would look something like this:

  1. Message.
  2. Listen.
  3. Adjust Message if necessary.
  4. Go to 2.

The conversation continued, by the way.

Lovely Lady #2:  Wow.  I didn’t know that.

Lovely Lady #1:  Yep.  And besides . . .I don’t like how they “screwed” Julie Taymor.

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.