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How to succeed on Broadway? Mix Facebook, fans and video

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The Broadway musical How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying is making a big marketing push on Facebook, with an innovative campaign to find the show’s biggest fan. The show, which stars Harry Potter‘s Daniel Radcliffe and Night Court‘s John Larroquette, hopes to drum interest with fan-generated video submissions.

The “Ultimate Fan” contest, which can be found at on the show’s website and its Facebook page, asks users to tell the producers why they are the show’s biggest fans. Those fans then get 20 seconds to record their best pitch. The contest winner will be flown to New York City to watch the show, meet the cast and take part in a video series highlighting the experience.

my attempt at being a super fan

Jim Glaub, creative director of How To Succeed‘s Ultimate Fan campaign, said the producers of the show were looking for ways to engage with and reward fans on Facebook. The contest was one way to do that. But of course, there’s also a marketing angle to the contest. “Besides being able to reward one lucky fan, there are benefits from a marketing standpoint,” Glaub said.

The genius in the campaign is that the show’s biggest fans are also its biggest evangelists: Videos from fans can be watched by other viewers on the How To Succeed page or on Facebook. By showing real people with real enthusiasm for the show, How To Succeed hopes to drum up even more interest from viewers who might be on the fence.

Not just that, but fans that have recorded their own testimonials can then share their videos with friends. Since the number one way that theater goers hear about a new show is through word of mouth, getting on people’s Facebook walls is one very easy way to spread the word.

The whole campaign is being managed by video startup VideoGenie, which provides a platform for companies to gather, manage, publish and analyze videos that are recorded by their fans. VideoGenie, which recently raised $2 million in venture funding, has run a ton of these types of campaigns so far, and claims that leveraging fan testimonials has been pretty effective for clients looking to better engage with their target audiences.

Take the Tony Awards for instance. In May, VideoGenie launched a campaign on the Tony Awards Facebook page, asking users to answer the question, “What Does Broadway Mean to You?” About 40 percent of all traffic from the campaign came from users clicking through videos that their friends had shared on their walls. The average viewer watched about a minute and 25 seconds of video content, which means on average they watched four separate testimonials. And each video shared, on average, sent 67 people to the Tony Awards site.