Why doesn’t the arts & cultural sector have something to sell that’s equivalent to Girl Scout cookies?
I mean, why isn’t there something that high school drama clubs, marching bands, dance schools, community theatre groups or others can sell that drives people to specifically participate in their community’s arts & cultural activities.
Earlier this week, I suggested a “universal gift card” – but today, I offer that idea with a twist: A universal gift card with a built-in incentive to allow a third-party (i.e. your favorite kids organization) to keep some % of the proceeds as a fundraiser.
According to the official Girl Scouts website, “Nationwide, girls receive an estimated 10 – 20% of the purchase price of each box of cookies sold.” Last I checked, a box was $4 – so, interesting to learn that just .40 to .80 cents from each box stays with the local troop.
Would you be willing to offer a commission for someone to sell $’s into your company?
What I love most about this idea is that it completely reverses the conventional pattern of consumer transactions. It asks prospective audience members to lock in their $ commitment BEFORE they are ever asked what or when that might be. THIS IS HUGE!
Do you agree that people generally INTEND to participate in arts & cultural experiences (theatre, dance, concert, exhibition or whatever) long before they decide WHAT that activity might be, WHEN it falls, or WHETHER they can convince their partner to go with them. If you have ever reviewed the results of a telephone survey that asked people about their arts & cultural participation, you’ve likely seen that people vastly over-report their participation. They’re not lying – they’re answering based on their INTENTION!
So, let’s sell to that strength!
Imagine the earnest drama club kid standing in front of the grocery store:
“Do you like music?
“Will you be going to any concerts this year?”
“Do you enjoy theatre?”
“Do you think you’ll be visiting the museum this year?”
“What’s your favorite local attraction to show out-of-town guests?”
and then continuing, “Here’s a card (available in $25, $50 and $100 denominations) that you can redeem for theatre, dance, musicals, concerts and museum & attraction admissions all over town – and best of all, if you buy it from us RIGHT NOW, you also help support our drama club/band/etc.”
Of course, there are all kinds of details that need to be figured out – percentages and redemption processes and un-redeemed value and the like. I especially like the suggestions that have been made on the prior blog entry that such a card should be NATIONAL! Let’s not let such details interfere with our brainstorming today. That’s why we have bankers, lawyers and accountants.
The key question here is: Could such a process do such a good job of “capturing” audience $’s into the orbit of the arts & cultural economy that it would have a significant impact on actual participation.
What do you think?
The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas! In that spirit, AUDIENCE WANTED dedicates this summer to stirring up a potpourri of creative notions & half-baked thoughts around the purpose of growing audiences for the arts & cultural sector.
Suspend practicality & judgment for the moment. We are just brainstorming here – with an emphasis on BIG thinking and CREATIVE efforts. Together, let’s amass a HUGE number of wild & crazy ideas.
Got a Bright Idea to contribute? Write it up in less than 500 words (along with a brief self-introduction) and send it to: Matt@audienceavenue.com.
And if this happens to be an idea that you’re already doing (or if you know somebody who has the power to make it happen) please get in touch, too!
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