Wigan Little Theatre: Big Things Come From Small Packages.

Big Things Come From Small Packages

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Size matters.

Sure, in the overall scheme of things we are programmed to believe that bigger is better. Just look at how car designs changed from the 1960’s to the 1970’s. We call them Muscle Cars now, but thanks to concerns over fuel economy and the ongoing upward spiral of oil prices car designs shifted into sleek, aerodynamic and lightweight territory by the 1980’s and 1990’s.

With advertising and marketing, we are told that big budgets get the word out more effectively than any other way. Big business rules big media and the little guy gets buried in a sea of competition.

That’s where a different kind of size can play a huge part in a marketing program. I’m talking about using a big idea to promote a small feature in a big way. Did you get all of that?

Let me explain.

Wigan Little Theatre. The iconic live theatre underwent a major facelift in 1989. The stage is just 540 square feet in size, which likely explains the word ‘little’ in the facility’s name. So, after the project was completed a task was put forth. The marketing plan was to produce a brochure to promote the venue with hopes of attracting more activity. It just made sense. Following the £200,000 renovation, they needed to make some of that money back. You know, cover some bills, produce some plays, preserve acting culture, blah-blah-blah.

Any big city (remember, size matters here) marketing company would see this as a giant opportunity to create a massive marketing program. It would encompass large components that would be used to create a ginormous amount of publicity.

Instead, what may have been viewed to some as a disadvantage – a handicap of sorts – the size of the miniscule theatre, turned into the very hook that made marketing the venue easier than well, 1-2-3.

So, a small, and I mean very, very small, brochure was created. It was so small (everyone in the crowd repeats: How Small Was It?) that it not only fit in the palm of your hand and left room for a few more copies, it did something amazing. The little brochure designed for the Wigan Little Theatre shone a big, bright light on the venue and pretty much put it on the map.

The rest, they say, is history.

But why did it work? Simple. Marketing and advertising is most effective when there is an obvious hook that grabs your attention. It can be a play on words. It can be a catchy jingle you can’t get out of your head. It can be something related to an image that is hard to forget. Whatever the hook is, it creates a connection between you and the item being promoted.

Even if you were not interested in live theatre, if you found a copy of the little brochure advertising the Wigan Little Theatre, you’d know the place by name simply because of the hook used in their marketing.

Yes, size does matter. What matters most is how effectively you use it.

Brochure design by Mark Studio

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