Sunday, July 16, 2017

Just Pee!

In spring 2016, when North Carolina legislators passed a bill barring transgender individuals from bathrooms and locker rooms that did not align with an individual’s biological gender, the Broadway musical KINKY BOOTS responded with a video posted to their social media channels that immediately went viral.

[A quick synopsis about the musical, in case you haven’t seen it: When Charlie Price’s father unexpectedly dies, Charlie inherits his family shoe factory - producing traditional men’s work shoes – only to discover that the factory is going bankrupt. He needs to close the factory (which employs the majority of the small town’s population) or change things up in a big way. He meets Lola, a drag queen, and together they decide that in order to stay open, the factory must change its operations and instead produce boots for drag queens. The blue-collar factory workers (who have more traditional/conservative values) are initially reluctant about this idea, but ultimately become more open-minded and accept the drag queens not only as clients, but as friends.]

So – in case you missed it – here’s the video:

This video is, in my opinion, an excellent example of social marketing done at its best for a few reasons:
1. The marketing team at KINKY BOOTS responded to a big news headline quickly (within a week of the announcement) in a branded, witty, and fun way. This song, “Just Pee” is a riff on the show’s finale number, “Just Be,” with most of the lyrics identical in both versions of the song. “Just Be” is the song that people leave the theater humming (“Just Be… Who you wanna be…”), and this social video ties directly back into the production in that way.
2. The news headline is related to the themes of KINKY BOOTS – and, for a show that has been running for almost five years and doesn’t necessarily have much to “talk about,” it’s a way to get people (both inside and outside of the theater community) talking about the show.
3. It was relatively inexpensive to produce – it was filmed inside of the theater where the show plays, and the clothing seen in the video are the actors’ costumes.
4. The video takes a politically charged issue and makes it seem sort of ridiculous. It enables us to watch the video and admit that we’re debating about pee!

The video, first posted to the show’s Facebook page, got a lot of attention quickly, and currently has over 13 million views, has been shared almost 50,000 times, and has received over 21,000 comments (for context, their video with the second highest number of views is an interview with the show’s star… which has 1.6 million views). This video got coverage from Rolling Stone, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and ultimately effectively used social marketing to show the brand name in a positive light. 

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