The hit show Hamilton broke new ground, set new records, and inspired huge numbers of new audiences to come to the theater. SHN, the long-time home for Broadway in San Francisco, experienced a flood of new membership thanks to their production of Hamilton. As the next season approached, SHN had one clear goal in mind: to keep new members for the upcoming season. They challenged Noise 13 to find creative ways to engage these newer members without ignoring their loyal, longstanding patrons. We created a flexible visual system for their membership marketing materials that appeals to both audiences, representing the variety and excitement of the SHN theater-going experience.
Our first step in developing a cohesive system was to unite around a central theme. Inspired by the beautiful exterior sign of the Orpheum and the rich, immersive experience inside the theater, we chose our primary visual mechanism: lights. Taking cues from the marquee as well as larger spotlights, we created a dynamic family of graphics that works fluidly across different formats and channels. We also interviewed both new and longstanding members and staff, as well as assessed the competitive landscape and the existing brand to identify opportunities for refining and evolving the SHN experience.
Developed in tandem with the visuals, our messaging reinforces the “light” theme. We came up with the phrase “Shining a Light on …” to highlight different aspects of the SHN experience, whether it be the plays, the value of membership, or the members themselves. By incorporating quotes from new and old members alike, the true value of SHN membership shines through in an authentic and genuine way.
From printed brochures to digital graphics, we rolled out a full suite of promotional materials to help reach current and potential members. Using the circles in different scales creates variety and interest, reinforcing the expressive nature and diverse audience that are characteristic of the theater experience. We also selected a color palette that would work with SHN’s primary burgundy brand color, but that was distinctively unique from past seasons. Bright yellow and cyan appeal to the younger Hamilton crowd and reinforce the “light” theme; when paired with a sophisticated and mature navy, they create a flexible system that speaks to everyone.
The new member mailer gave us the opportunity to play up our theme in an unexpected and creative way. We maximized impact with minimal structural change by adding a die cut to the interior pocket of the mailer; as you pull the card out, the interaction between the two panels mimics the effect of glittering lights. This design detail proved to be the breath of fresh air that SHN was looking for, generating buzz on social media and earning positive feedback from members.
—Scott Kane, Chief Marketing Officer, SHN
Noise 13 delivered beautiful designs backed by thoughtful strategy, bringing the essence of the SHN experience to life. We couldn’t be happier with the result — and if renewals are any indication, the same goes for our members.
The new design had a clear impact: 70% of members who had joined as part of the Hamilton wave renewed for the next season, surpassing SHN’s expectations and bringing the Broadway in SF experience to more enthusiastic theatergoers than ever before.
As fellow Hamilfans ourselves, we were not giving away our shot to help this iconic San Francisco brand. Now, like SHN’s members, we’re hooked on the theater and can’t wait to see what’s in store this season and beyond.