Wifey (her official title and one that she loves and fully endorses so no more emails on this please) and I took our niece to see Grease for her birthday. It was a fun night and many of us chose to make it a sing-a-long.
But what was impressive was their marketing approach, specifically in their casting.
As you have probably guessed, the thing that makes a show successful is getting an audience – it’s obvious really.
So how can you get a big audience in? It’s simple, cast big names. But big names cost money so you can’t have too many.
So why not cast big names for small but key roles and less famous people for the majority of the roles.
Grease is a great case in point. If you go to the Grease website and check out the cast, the first two are Danny and Sandy (in this case, well known Rob Mills and lesser known Greta Scarlett).
The next listed are Anthony Callea/ John Paul Young (both playing the same role in different cities), two lesser known in the roles of Kenickie and Rizo (Rizo was the absolute star in my opinion) and finally Todd McKenny, Val Lehman (from Prisoner) and Bert Newtown. Under these prominent listings it is merely a roll call of everyone else on the show.
Here is the interesting thing, the role Anthony, John Paul Young, and Todd McKenny play is ……. sing one song!
Val Lehman does some great crowd warmup, has about 5 minutes on stage and Bert does similar. In all honesty, Bert struggled with his role.
So the biggest names hardly have anything to do with the show, their main role is “Sell Tickets!”
The show has been a huge success in Melbourne and I have no doubt it is the pulling power of some of these names that has done it.
So how can you add some Grease to your marketing?