Kansas City's historic Folly Theater sought to attract a younger crowd. We knew our target viewers were addicted to their phones, yet theaters everywhere tell attendees to turn off their devices during performances. So rather than making the audience power down, we asked them to leave their phones on and use them to help direct the action on stage-a burlesque show called "The New Century Follies"-from their seats.

Launch the campaign
Published
February 2014
Topics

The Story

Kansas City's historic Folly Theater sought to attract a younger crowd. We knew our target viewers were addicted to their phones, yet theaters everywhere tell attendees to turn off their devices during performances. So rather than making the audience power down, we asked them to leave their phones on and use them to help direct the action on stage-a burlesque show called "The New Century Follies"-from their seats.

People learned about this plugged-in live theater production through social media and local events. Audience members downloaded VML’s Center Screen mobile app for iOS or Android prior to taking their seats. During the show, they used the app to vote on what costumes the actors wore, props they used, songs they sung and even how much clothing a dancer shed during a dance. Then they watched their decisions unfold on stage. Every moment of the night was shareable, building immediate buzz for the theater.

The Technology

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    Mobile

    Android

    iOS

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    Social

    Facebook

    Twitter

The Results

The audience members didn't just watch the show, they directed it. Attendance went up, especially among the young target group. Audience engagement heightened during the show and social chatter increased. As a result, a theater nobody was thinking about suddenly became the talk of the town.

1,817

Active sessions during the show

6,803

Screen views during the show

753

Real-time social media shares

Launch Date Aug. 24, 2013