Product / ServiceBIRDLAND
CategoryA01. Use of Promotional Events & Stunts 


Name Company Position
Darren Spiller DDB Group Melbourne Chief Creative Officer
Simon Bagnasco DDB Group Melbourne Executive Creative Director
Anna Stickley DDB Group Melbourne Art Director
Sophie Beard DDB Group Melbourne Copywriter
Tom Hyde DDB Group Melbourne Planning Director
Dion Appel DDB Group Melbourne Managing Director
Blair Panozza DDB Group Melbourne Account Executive
Simon Thomas DDB Group Melbourne Head of on Onscreen
Tuesday Picken DDB Group Melbourne Senior Agency Producer
Genevieve O'shea DDB Group Melbourne Assistant Agency Producer
Grantley Smith & Simon Walsh DDB Group Melbourne DOP
Marissa Brian DDB Group Melbourne Editor
Ben Barratt-Boyes Mango Communications Head of Experiential
Holly O’Connell Freelance Senior Producer
Josh Cameron DDB Group Melbourne Hero Rockstar

Brief Explanation

The Melbourne Theatre Company wanted to promote their latest production, Birdland – a play about a rock star and his excessive, often nihilistic existence in hotel rooms. To bring this world to life, we created a preview like no other – the Peephole Preview. Behind three hotel doors we recreated three scenes from the play, giving viewers a glimpse of the dark world of Birdland through the peephole. To do this we fitted out three rooms at the InterContinental Melbourne with new doors, each custom-built with a magnetic iPhone lens in place of the peephole. This meant that only when a smart phone was attached, could our audience watch the debauchery on the other side. The experience, and the unique moments captured, were shared instantly on social platforms using #peepholepreview and #MTCbirdland. A short video of the activation was also created for the MTC as promotional material.

The Brief

Birdland was a relatively unknown play from the UK. It was also darker and more confronting than most Melbourne Theatre Company productions. With a base of mostly older patrons, the MTC needed to connect with a new, younger audience. Instead of just telling them how great the play would be, we let them hear it from people they look up to and admire – 11 carefully chosen influencers from Melbourne, ranging from fashion bloggers to musicians Our target audience were delivered a glimpse of the play, directly into their hands by the very people they trust to bring them the newest, coolest, latest stuff.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results

In one night, using only 11 influencers, we reached 450,000 people and introduced the Melbourne Theatre Company to a whole new audience. Importantly, 90% of those who saw and shared the Peephole Preview were under 30 – this is attributed to driving a 150% increase in youth ticket sales. The Peephole Preview helped the Melbourne Theatre Company find a voice on social media, and with 100% positive feedback online, increased their consumer awareness with the younger demographic.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service

For this activation, it made sense for us to bring hotel rooms, camera phones and excessive behavior together. First, our key influencers were sent an InterContinental Hotel room key printed with a room number, time and date. Once they arrived at the hotel on the night, they discovered three scenes from Birdland being played out in three separate rooms – a mental breakdown, a horde of groupies and a game of cards gone wrong - each using actors from the Melbourne Theatre Company. To watch the debauchery happening behind each of the doors, the guests had to connect their phone to the magnetic lens, in the custom-built door. We made it as easy for our influencers to share the experience with their followers, by having them view it through the very device they would ultimately use to share it – their mobile phone, and the social media apps that go along with it.