Have no doubt that global, national, and even local level catastrophes should have a profound effect on your marketing thinking. But in different ways than you probably think!

For twenty years, Onstage has been providing luxury-level advertising across the US. We’ve been here through US tragedies and crises like the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the Housing Market & Stock Market Crash of 2008 and widespread weather crises like the 2015 – 2016 Winter Storm Goliath, to name a few.

Yes, your advertising during a crisis needs to be thoughtful. A genuine crisis may even be cause for a total re-brand. But if you learn one thing from the internet today, let it be this: don’t pull your ad budget during a crisis. Now is the time to go all in. But let’s pause that thought for a moment, and take a look at marketing messages as they related to the current novel Coronavirus situation in the US.

Kentucky Fried Chicken Pulls “Finger-Lickin’ Good” Ads During 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic

KFC pulled advertising that encouraged finger-licking as of 3/12/2020 – and that makes good sense! US consumers are hyper-aware of hygiene, hand washing, and sterilization. Nothing would be a bigger turn-off to consumers right now than the idea of licking their fingers. We’ll call this the “Eww factor.”

We’re marketing masters at Onstage, not doctors. So we’re not here to talk about fatality rates or communicability of COVD-19. What matters to us is that US consumers are behaving in a remarkably different way. And while news media likes to tout this as “the new normal,” we’ve been around this block enough to believe strongly that things will settle back down in a month or two.

Which means that savvy marketing professionals are:

  • Reviewing their campaigns to pull anything that could give consumers the “Eww factor.”
  • Doubling-down on messages relating to health, safety, cleanliness, hygiene, insurance, etc.
  • Jumping in fast when advertising sales reps call with special prices and deals.

The past few years have been excellent for US businesses, and we’ve blogged about that a lot. We’re thrilled that so many small businesses have sprung up! However, young organizations and inexperienced marketing staff might not realize just how “low it can go” and how challenging it can be to do business during a wobbly economy and unusual consumer behavior.

In an effort to maintain their bottom line, many of these young businesses will pull their ad budget in part or in whole. And that will be a fatal mistake.

As Hard As It Sounds, Now is the Time to Boost Your Marketing Budget

Young organizations that reduce their marketing budgets during a crisis are very likely to fail. The Harvard Business Review (HBR) published some excellent reading on the topic, back in 2009, right after the housing market crash. Those were tough years for business.

  • We’ll summarize HBR’s research to say that during an economic downturn, all segments become more selective about their spending. No major revelations there!
  • The businesses that ride out the storm are the ones who adjust their message accordingly and PUSH IT, while their competitors shrink back into the shadows.

We realize that budgeting can be tough during a slowdown, especially this early in the year. It probably feels like you were just getting comfortable with your 2020 goals and budgets.

Your Advertising Budget is the Last Place to Cut Funds During a Crisis

If your business is going to survive a genuine crisis, you need to look at every little nook and cranny for cutting back. Inexperienced marketers may think their marketing budget is a no-brainer, but that thinking will be their fatal error. Tightening up cost-cutting in other areas so that your marketing budget gets impacted as little as possible will make your company come out of any crisis stronger. Marketing during a crisis becomes the defining moment for businesses.

We’re All In This Together

Remember, we’re all in this together! There is a ton of advice, news, blog posts, social posts, etc. out there that will drive anyone crazy and make anyone think the world if coming to an end. Obviously, our advice is easier said than done. But if you truly believe in the American way, we will get through this crisis just as we have every other crisis before!

We appreciate that you’ve taken the time to read our marketing blogs during these interesting times. We certainly enjoy writing them. If you’d like to learn more about re-branding during a crisis, or advertising to the most affluent of consumers, reach out to us today! We’d love to hear from you.

Related Reading & Resources:

Campaign US: Advertising is in Crisis, But it’s Not Because it Doesn’t Work

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra is All About Diversity

Our program book publishing clients at Onstage comes from all over the nation! We love to be part of their vision of diversity. One of our most culturally diverse customers must be The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, a group of outstanding performance artists who are dedicated to bringing joy to the central Florida region in the form of enriched music and performances.

The “Orlando Phil” has it all!

Each of our program book customers brings unique talent and vision to the modern performing arts world. The Orlando Phil provides more than 150 concerts to the Orlando area, and venues ranging from parks and schools to traditional auditoriums.

  • Classical concerts & pre-concert lectures for ticket-holders
  • Educational programs & youth programs
  • Community involvement
  • Cuban and Latino cultural programming
  • Performances in all price ranges, even free!
  • Performances by visiting musicians

We appreciate all the musicians and the dedicated administrative staff that make these events happen!

About the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

The Orlando Phil is growing! Next year will be their 27th Season.

This 2019 – 2020 fall-winter season is chock full of concerts; with such a wide variety of performances, we almost don’t know where to begin!

The Fairwinds Classics Series of concerts will all be held at the Bob Carr Theater and include

  • Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony– October 26, 2019, at 8 pm. The orchestra will perform the most iconic piece of classical music in human history.
  • The Sounds of Revolution, Freedom and Joy– February 1, 2020, at 8 pm. Soloists Colleen Blagov and guest Jeremy Kittel perform themes from the American Civil and Revolutionary Wars. The evening will close dramatically with a performance of Shostakovich’s Sixth Symphony.
  • American Rhapsody– March 21, 2020, at 8 pm. A night of American composers, featuring Gershwin’s jazzy Rhapsody in Blue, which has enchanted American audiences since 1924.

A Note on Administrative Staff & Volunteers

While this blog series focuses mostly on venues and artists, we need to tip our hats to the administrative staff and volunteers associated with the Orlando Phil. As marketing professionals and business people, we understand the values and constraints of budgets.

Have you ever put together a big event, like a wedding? You know the amount of time and preparation it takes. Now imagine hosting 125 – 150 big events every year! We must point out that the Orlando Philharmonic’s administration must be doing it right because they are one of the few American orchestras that have balanced their budget every single year of their existence! That’s a major accomplishment!

Would we like to take a little crumb of credit for their success as partners who provide outstanding publication of their luxury program books? We would! At Onstage Publications we do more than publish luxury program books for clients. We help organizations stay on-tasks by removing the stress and busywork of quality program book production.

About Music Director Mr. Eric Jacobsen

According to the Orlando Phil website Mr. Jacobsen is nearing his fifth year as Music Director for the Orlando Phil. In 2016 he stepped down from his position as cellist of the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, to focus on his position as conductor and Music Director.

His vision launched a new trend in community engagement with his creative and diverse programming; intending to engage a broader audience, and the entire community is grateful!

The New York Times calls him “an interpretive dynamo”! He has a reputation for innovative presentations and collaborative works, and is probably known most for his skill at engaging an audience.

You Know that Audience Engagement is the Key to Experiential Marketing

Our specialty is experiential marketing. We get excited about music directors and orchestras who involve the audience and leave them feeling like they were a part of the concert.

We are experts at getting your brand in front of affluent, involved audiences all around the nation with luxury program books, digital signage at venues and our direct mail program Artspac. Would you like to learn more about marketing to this coveted opt-in mailing list? Contact us today!

Today’s marketing avenues are changing. When you want to draw more business into your restaurant, you have to get creative with your marketing approach. If you’re advertising where everyone else is, such as Facebook or other social media platforms, your message is getting lost.

It pays to think outside of the box, which is all the more reason to know who your target audience is. Consider your location and the type of demographic that you’re trying to appeal to. You want people who have extra money to spend, not the people who are pinching pennies and can’t afford to eat out.

Market to Patrons of the Performing Arts

Those who have money to spend on the performing arts have the money to eat out. They recognize the importance of eating out and the entire atmosphere that goes with it. As such, considering changing some of your marketing campaigns to make sure that you’re marketing to this audience is always a win-win.

Granted, you could get creative with the way that your Facebook ads find people. However, you’re missing out on the people who aren’t on social media. Some people don’t have the time to check their statuses and read through the seemingly endless number of posts in their timeline.

A better strategy is to bring your restaurant advertisements directly to the source. Get your ads in front of people who matter.

Your restaurant ad can be printed in the program books that are distributed to everyone at the beginning of a performance. As they browse through it to find out who the performers are, they’ll also see various business advertisements. Because you’re perceived as supporting one of their favorite things, they’ll be more inclined to support you, too.

You can also explore venue digital signage. This allows you to have a visual way of showing off all of the excellent food and service that you’re known for. By placing photos and videos that can be displayed in the theatres and the other performing arts venues, your restaurant will stand out. While patrons are milling in to see the performance, they’ll see your ad on these digital signs. Make their mouth’s water and when the performance ends, they may be hungry enough to make a bee-line right to your restaurant.

In addition to both the printed program books and venue digital signage, riding along with the direct mail of specific performing arts venues is another way to get in front of this demographic. Make an enticing enough offer on this direct mail piece and your restaurant will have just as much of a packed house as the theatre they are coming from.

Get Creative

The reality is that you have to be more creative about marketing than the restaurants you’re in competition with. If you duplicate the efforts that everyone else is doing, you’re going to have minimal results, and your restaurant will be lost in the clutter. You need to be creative with where you put your advertising – and performing arts advertising can be an excellent place for you to do this.

Your marketing campaign should never rely on one form of marketing. Not everyone will be on social media. Not everyone will read the performing arts program books. Not everyone will remember what they see on a digital screen. However, when you have your marketing messages located prominently in many places, people will start to establish brand recognition. They’ll remember seeing you in a few different places – and that’s when you know that your marketing efforts are working.

Word of mouth marketing simply isn’t effective any longer. Many people forget what they heard before they have a chance to tell someone. It’s not that people are becoming more forgetful, though. It’s because people are becoming victims of information overload.

When you want your restaurant to stand out from the clutter and advertise in a new and exciting way, contact us at Onstage Publications. We’re here to show you that the patrons of the performing arts have money to spend – and if you advertise correctly, they can be spending it at your restaurant.

Thank you to everyone that participated in Onstage’s “We’ll Pay for Your Trip to Nashville” contest.

For those of you not familiar with our most recent contest, we emailed all the participants prior to this year’s League of American Orchestra’s conference held in Nashville, TN for the chance to enter their name in the hat for Onstage to pick up their trip’s tab. All they had to do was complete our quick program book questionnaire and they were entered (see the official email below.)


We were inundated, to say the least, but we now have a winner. That lucky person is Lacey Huszcza, Executive Director of the Las Vegas Philharmonic.

Congratulations Lacey! And for all the rest of you, as always, Onstage will help you concentrate your efforts on your performance, and we’ll pay you for it! So stop wasting your precious time and money on trying to publish your own program books. Call Norm today!

There’s something really amazing happening in Boston and it doesn’t have anything to do with a ball of any kind. The arts sector is seeing a substantial and very noticeable boom in the Boston area! According to Cintia Lopez who writes for NPR affiliate WBUR – Boston, cultural and artistic events in Boston are serving about 21 million people each year. To put this into perspective she goes on to say that this is four times more than the combined attendance of the Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Patriots sports teams! You wouldn’t necessarily know it to look at the advertisers found in each of those stadiums and arenas.

There is no doubt that the artistic community in Boston and all over the United States is seeing something of a boom. This boom doesn’t just mean more money for venues and performing arts organizations, but rather a substantial contribution to the local economy for a number of businesses. Retail, food service and parking are some of the industries that stand to gain from annual performing arts patrons. Rather than being a quiet minority for advertising budgets, the data now suggests that the arts community simply can’t be ignored. There’s potential there in a number of different ways.

Targeting This Audience

With billions of dollars spent by arts patrons, your business can get your share of the pie. To do this it will be necessary to put advertising dollars in the right place. Performing arts patrons appreciate that advertising is never in their faces. For this reason, you won’t see huge banners and signs posted all over the walls of the venue. There is no product placement on stage with the performers. So where are the opportunities for advertising?

Printed Performing Arts Program Books

Performing arts venues use program books for their performances. Patrons read these program books and pay attention to those that advertise, appreciating their support of the arts. Instead of mass advertising where you hope your name and message doesn’t get lost, targeting this powerful niche audience of the performing arts world will pay off substantially.

Digital Signage 

Arts venues are integrating digital signage into their common areas more and more. And with more people coming through the doors, waiting before performances and socializing in common areas, these digital signs have great potential. Advertising at venues utilizing digital signage will put your message in front of the right audience.

Cross Promotional Strategy

When you advertise in printed program books or on venue digital signage there is a golden opportunity to offer something directly to the arts patron. Potential discounts for showing their program book ad or advertising specials for after performances are all ways to give the patrons of the arts something extra. There is some mutual benefit to partnering with arts venues and patrons appreciate those efforts.

What Does This Say About the Performing Arts?

Lopez on WBUR writes that there has been a 40% increase in arts venue attendance since 2014. The growth in this sector is not just to major organizations. Many new and smaller arts venues and organizations have sprouted over the last several years in making it a new artistic melting pot. There are lots of golden opportunities to work with smaller organizations to help promote your business.

Some businesses may choose to pivot their whole marketing strategy around this audience, while others will simply want to include it as part of their bigger marketing picture. But it would be shortsighted to only target sporting event attendees when there is a far bigger audience that is frequenting artistic venues. Take advantage of this artistic wave by seeking out ways to incorporate your marketing into the arts audience through printed program books and digital signage advertising. Good selling!

It’s no secret that if you want your business to be successful, you need to identify your audience. Armed with this, many small businesses feverishly conduct numerous hours of research trying to identify their target audience. But unfortunately, many times, this effort goes unanswered as to “who” this audience is.

Why Your Business Is Not Reaching Their Target Audience & How To Hit The Mark 

Are you left wondering why your business is not hitting the mark? According to Forbes online, the influx of marketing platforms has “created confusion” and more options doesn’t always mean better. This has made it utterly frustrating to find your target audience. Equally frustrating for business owners is knowing who to market to, but not knowing where to find this target audience. And often, businesses misidentify their target audience which leads to wasted time and money.

This leaves many business owners thinking they can only play the hand they’re dealt. But with performing arts advertising, this does not have to be the case. In fact. With performing arts advertising, many businesses find they are playing their best hand. Advertising your business in printed performing arts program books and digital signage gives you a powerful tool that feels like you’ve been dealt a winning hand every time.

About Performing Arts Advertising 

  • By a 57% comparison to other advertising tools, performing arts advertising has been able to reach difficult audiences
  • Over 60% of the consumers that purchase performing arts tickets are women
  • 70% of the women that purchase performing arts tickets are more likely to make a purchase from supporting businesses and brands
  • Nearly 85% of the patrons are 35 years of age or older (which is 68% of the U.S. population)
  • 38% of performing arts patrons hold a doctoral degree (compared to 9.9% of the entire U.S. population)

The truth is, it’s hard to try to find this type of audience let alone finding them all in one place that remains engaged throughout a performance.

What Performing Arts Advertising Can Do For Your Business 

Performing arts program book and digital signage advertising can be an easy and cost-effective way to reach your audience. Unlike other advertising strategies, performing arts advertising allows your business to reach a hard to reach audience.

Performing arts advertising offers the diversity of age, income, and education which is hard to find in today’s marketing clutter.

Remember, your business advertising resources are an investment. Digital advertising can have your business lost in the crowd but performing arts advertising can help you maintain a visible presence that will leave a lasting impression on your target audience. Your business can conveniently reach audiences that aren’t as attentive to digital marketing. More importantly, performing arts advertising is dedicated to a clear and loyal niche demographic so you can rest assured, your message will be in front of the right audience at the right time.

You don’t have to feel like the odds are stacked against you, let performing arts advertising be your winning hand every time. Good selling!

A few of our satisfied clients.

Engage with the engagement experts.

Send us a quick email with your questions and contact info.

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