Brands stage plays to entertain consumers

Modern youth look to brands to not only provide them with products and services but also to be a source of entertainment. The following brands are turning to live theater to provide consumers with the unique entertainment experiences they crave.


Skittles forwent a Super Bowl TV spot in favor of a more artistic endeavor: a Broadway musical. Instead of creating a game day ad, the candy brand produced a one-show-only original 30-minute musical called “Skittles Commercial: The Broadway Musical” about selling out. The play was written by playwright Will Eno and starred Golden Globe winner and Broadway veteran Michael C. Hall. Proceeds from the ticket sales went to the nonprofit organization Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDs, with Skittles’ owner Mars Wrigley also donating $50,000. By tapping into live theater and focusing on providing a genuinely entertaining branded experience, brands can find favor among modern consumers.


Insurance company More Th>n made its West End debut in August of last year with the commissioning of a 20-minute play entitled “Papa Don’t Preach” by award-winning playwright and screenwriter Bola Agbaje about the relationship between a father and daughter. Unlike other on-stage shows, this play had a unique twist: it took place entirely in a car parked on London’s famed Drury Lane. Audience members sat in the backseat while the actors sat in the front, allowing them to feel like they were part of the intimate family conversation. Such activations resonate among modern youth, who are drawn to immersive forms of entertainment.


Skincare brand Olay turned its viral videos into a one-day-only off-Broadway show called “Olay Live: The Road to Glow,” based on the brand’s musical YouTube videos that have amassed over 14 million views. “The Road to Glow” starred actress Hannah Rose, who was in the original YouTube videos, alongside “Dear Evan Hansen” original cast member Kristolyn Lloyd and SNL alum Ana Gasteyer. The 43-minute musical follows the story of a young woman who feels she’s lost her confidence and needs help gaining it back. By staging a musical, Olay hoped to provide consumers with a new way to engage with the brand.

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