When the Marketing Department at Woolly all sat down and started brainstorming how to get exposure for Bootycandy, we may not have known about the butt lollipops in our future, but we did know that we needed to reach out to one community in particular: the gay community. Those of you who’ve seen it, you know what our line of thinking was. It’s a play about labels and identity, and how you combat the labels thrust upon you by society. Plus, many of the characters happen to be gay, so it’s a natural fit. That’s when we became a community partner for Capital Pride. From a marketing standpoint, it made total sense: discounted ad space, reaching out to a group that our show was perfect for, all that jazz. Plus, it was a great way to hand out all those goodies I was telling you about in my last blog.
Last week, Box Office Manager Timmy Metzner and I ran around to prepare for Pride. He would be running the parade troupe, while I would be running our “Kissing Booth” (lovingly crafted by Master Carpenter Joel Garcia) at the Pride Festival the following day. And despite the fact that we were barely ready, it came. Our hour had arrived:
When I got to Woolly early Sunday morning to meet coworkers for the Festival, I had no idea what to expect. I had heard tons of things about Pride and how awesome it was from friends and family, but I had always been out of town or too busy or whatever BS things life throws at you to ever attend myself. Now I can say I have been, and let me tell you, any place that lets you do this
…is okay by me.
In all seriousness, Pride was fantastic. We talked to people about the show, the butt lollipops went like…well, butt lollipops, and the kissing booth was a smashing success.
But the best part of Pride really wasn’t the simple success of a marketing strategy. Throughout this entire campaign, we noticed a difference in the community we were reaching out to: people actively came and spoke to us, offered to support us, wanted to help and do anything for us. Sitting at the booth during Pride, all of that sense of community came in floods. People were curious, came up to us and talked to us. They wished us luck. Many of them had already seen Bootycandy and wanted to share their thoughts, their reactions, things they felt were powerful, things they weren’t sure about. We had more feedback, emotion, and passion in those four and a half hours then I’ve seen throughout the entire run (and this is a show people TALK about, let me tell you).
And so, being a community partner for Capital Pride turned out to be one of the smartest things we have ever done. Not for the discounts or the advertising placement, but for the chance to reach out to the audience and the freedom to converse with them in a way that we could never do simply online; for the free hugs, the sense of support, and of course, the thousands of kinds of love.
~ Katie Boyles, Marketing and Communications Assistant