What Can Dance Companies Learn from SYTYCD Advertising and PR?

Posted on June 17, 2011

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This Tuesday, So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD)  held an event on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, Calfornia featuring a promotional billboard full of live dancers and a DJ. The event also featured judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy, who spoke to the press about the 2011 season of SYTYCD.

Although the event was obviously pricier than the advertising or PR budget most dance companies would allow for, I believe that smaller dance companies and dance events could hold exciting promotional events similar to this one. All you need is some dancers, a space, possibly a permit, possibly some music, and of course, movement!

Here are some ideas I have come up with. Some of them fall into the category of advertising, and some fall into the category of public relations:

  • Project a dance video onto a wall or projector in a city square.
  • Place living statues in a prominent park with signs nearby detailing an upcoming event.
  • Flash mob! This method has become very popular in the past few years and is always an attention grabber if it is performed in a high-traffic area and documented appropriately.
  • Hold a day-long improvisation event in a park and invite all the dancers in town who are eager to take dance outside!
  • Free dance lessons in the park.

These ideas must be executed in prominent areas that the audience that are social hangouts or high traffic areas for the audience you want to speak to. In the case of So You Think You Can Dance, the live billboard spoke to TV watchers in L.A. and contributed to the cultural significance of dance in the city. Events like also reach out to a wider audience including people who might not typically be interested in dance.

Have you ever seen or been a part of an community centered dance-related event such as those mentioned? How did the audience receive it?

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