bristol old vic

I am currently the Campaigns Manager for Bristol Old Vic, responsible for development and implementation of marketing campaigns for this world-famous theatre - the English-speaking world's oldest in continuous use.

Since March I have been the Marketing Lead for the organisation, developing its product and comms response to Covid-19, and our unprecedented shutdown. I oversaw the creation of Bristol Old Vic At Home, an engagement programme featuring three strands: Family Arts Hub, Open Stage Online and our first At Home streaming season. This project garnered over 30 million impressions, and nearly half a million views of our video content, and added a welcome new source of income in straightened times.

Prior to March I oversaw digital marketing for the organisation, the marketing of Bristol Old Vic's Heritage work and its Engagement work, as well as the marketing of our visiting theatre work and The Weston Studio end-to-end, from budget and pricing strategy through campaign planning and execution to evaluation and data management. In short, as well as BOV itself, I sell shows and events! Lots of them - over 170 since 2018!

I manage marketing using the full spectrum of marketing tools available (from traditional print and poster advertising to programmatic, PPC and digital social advertising, as well as comms, PR, social media, video marketing, and a host of other approaches).

I'm constantly evolving my approach to marketing at Bristol Old Vic, with new initiatives, strategies and products set to launch throughout 2020 and 2021. I've included below a (tiny) selection of examples of some of the marketing that I do, but for a fuller flavour including show campaigns, etc, check out the BOV website, Twitter and Instagram, and our YouTube channel. I haven't included any visual examples of strategic documents or pricing models because spreadsheets aren't terribly exciting to look at - but I'm more than happy to chat about those things if you're interested.

bristol old vic at home

Working closely with colleague Caroline Lang, I am responsible for delivery of the whole Bristol Old Vic At Home digital platform, including digital infrastructure, content and design.

 

Bristol Old Vic At Home delivered:

  • An interactive sharing platform for creative work from beginners to established artists (called Open Stage Online)

  • A centre for educational and entertainment resources, inspired by theatre, for children who are home-schooling, as well as activities and viewable content for families (called Family Arts Hub)

  • And finally a season of streamed work, running alongside other partners in Bristol on Bristol Arts Channel. Check out our streamed season here.

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Pivoting Bristol Old Vic in the pandemic

I used the 'At Home' period to reposition Bristol Old Vic, both in terms of visual style and product offer.

In March, I simplified the entire online experience, reducing significantly the number of clicks between customer, content and check-outs. I also launched a new approach to email marketing (see example above), as well as our video content (see example below).

Becoming a Digital Publisher

In March, we launched our new family offer, full of activities and educational material as well as three full-length shows for families to watch at home. In July, learning from how popular this was with audiences, I rebranded all the ways to interact with Bristol Old Vic and launched it as 'Interact'.

The first Season of At Home streams was so successful, generating significant donations, that I'm now working on Season 2, launching Q4 2020. Our YouTube subscribers grew by 1000% in the five weeks we ran the season for, and our social engagement was the highest ever.

Creating New Commercial Opportunities

In May the Bristol Old Vic Shop launched, our first online storefront so our audience can access our products while they can't watch our shows or come into our building. I'm now developing a significant merchandising project which will bring exclusive theatrical products to market via the Shop.

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In August, we reopened our building and Bar and Cafe, with a new poster campaign I co-designed (below) to support our new ventures, as well as a new digital sign-in system I built to aid in Contact Track and Trace.

new brand, new website

In 2018, as part of the 'Year of Change', Bristol Old Vic launched a whole new brand alongside launching our brand new front of house and commercial business. Our new website was the lynchpin of this, and its bold, responsive and fresh look has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors, booking tens of thousands of tickets. Check it out to see more about how we work.

heritage destination marketing

I now oversee heritage marketing at Bristol Old Vic. In late 2018, we launched a suite of heritage experiences and products, and fully positioned Bristol Old Vic as a key heritage destination at the heart of Bristol's old city. Bristol Old Vic, alongside Bristol Archives and the Theatre Collection, were shortlisted for Heritage Partnership of the Year at the Museums + Heritage Awards 2019.

 

The approach to heritage marketing is modern and fresh. It is integrated into the marketing we do for the whole organisation, included in monthly newsletters, in the heritage industry press, and advertised via groups and tours operators, and appropriately across Bristol. We have seen huge take-ups of our historic tours, which are competitively priced, and are a key piece of our heritage engagement strategy.​

 

To help engage more people with BOV's heritage, we created an explorable archive telling the story of the Theatre over its 253-year life through objects. You can also explore much of the interpretation work online as well as on-site. With this digital-first approach we developed an AR app allowing visitors to experience what the Theatre used to be like over four different time periods, right in front of their eyes (video demo below).

 

There is also a VR 3D visualisation (like Google Street View for inside buildings) that was commissioned to both allow all who wish to experience our building to do so in an immersive way, but also to allow access patrons a sense of where everything is, how to get around and how our building works (see below).

Opening up and marketing a new heritage destination has expanded Bristol Old Vic's horizons and opened us up to a new audience in Bristol and around the world. We see older people, young people, children, schools, artists as well as tourists all engaging with the heritage offer. See more here.

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All images & video © Bristol Old Vic & Zubr

video marketing

We employ video to tell the story of our shows and our building, its 253-year heritage, from producing and re-editing show trailers to behind the scenes videos, beautiful films about our heritage offer (see below). Check our more at our YouTube channel here.

All images & video © Bristol Old Vic