StubHub gets aggressive on the streets of the city.

StubeHubI was getting out of the subway this morning and thinking, “What will I write about for tomorrow’s blog?” when StubHub slapped me in the face.

On the West side of Broadway, between 49th and 50th Street, the scalping ticketing giant has bought the windows of an old electronics store and Colony Music, and put up outdoor advertising that wraps all the way around the corner.

It’s a mammoth buy.  And I couldn’t help but notice.

And taking a cue from the giant camera billboards in Times Square like this one, StubHub made their windows “interactive.”  And taking a cue from McDonalds (whose “Ronald McDonald” character made them billions), they created a cartoony character named Ticket Oak.

Ticket Oak is a tree . . . that gives you tickets.  I mean, I’m not sure it’s as on point as Ronny McD, but whatever (you can watch the Ticket Oak commercial here.) 

So here’s how the windows work.

There’s a video screen.  And it’ll take your picture.  And then, surprise, surprise, if you put in your email address (which was a little tricky, by the by), the Ticket Oak will email you the pic.

It’s a pretty good device, although I’ll be curious to see how many people per day do it.  (I walk by every day about six times so I’ll give you an update.)

But I’m not writing about it because of its marketing prowess.

I’m writing about it because it seems to be the most aggressive form of marketing that StubHub has done, since it started dominating the secondary ticket market (and since being purchased by eBay).  They tried an actual ticket outlet south of 42nd Street.  And I wonder if they are thinking about trying that again.

But whether they do or don’t, something’s up.  And they’re definitely making a move to get more of our buyers to become their buyers.

And that means we’re going to have to be on top of our game to make sure we keep the customers we’ve worked so hard to get.

Maybe we should get a few windows of our own.


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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.