We’re in the fascinating and short time between Tony nominations and the awards themselves as I write this. It’s a period when there are interesting things to learn about how shows are looking at their nominations. You’ll only be able to get a personal view, since you won’t be in on the overall strategy each show is using but if you’re sensitive to what you’re seeing, you can learn something. Producers and their marketing teams spend a lot of time talking about who their main audience is and how to reach them. Are they dedicated theater-goers who look at the New York Times or theater websites? Are they predominantly TV watchers? Are they tourists who are looking for a show to see and spending time in Times Square? Are they millennials who are focused on social media on their phones?
These producers have suddenly been presented with a new “asset” – Tony nominations – and armed with that news, they are making choices within (and often exceeding) their budgets about how to reach their specific audience. So, pay attention to how much of that information you’re getting and where you’re getting it from, and you might begin to get a glimmering of a show’s overall strategy. Are you seeing paid advertising or social posts on Facebook? Dominating ads in the Sunday New York Times or in a strip banner across the Arts page? On a billboard or a trash can in Times Square? On TV? There’s only this short time for producers to make the most of this opportunity because once the awards have been given the value of nominations quickly fades. Producers are trying to make the most of it, and so should you.