While Shakespeare remains astonishingly relevant for every generation, the Bard can’t seem to shake a fusty image in the eyes of younger audiences. To bring a new generation of patrons to Folger while remaining true to its personality and scholarly roots, we crafted a visual identity, marketing strategy and unifying theme (Shake the World) for the full 2018/2019 season.
Shake the World
Folger Theatre is an intimate, Elizabethan playhouse for “breathtakingly original…strikingly contemporary” drama. Its superb stagings of both favorites and rarely seen Shakespeare plays, as well as carefully chosen contemporary works, are renowned worldwide for their authenticity and cultural relevance.
To do this, we started with what makes Folger truly unique—its relationship to the Folger Shakespeare Library and their vast collection of Shakespeare’s printed works (the largest in the world!). Historic engravings served as the foundation for our visuals, while the vivid, illustrative patterns and textures overlaid by artist Andrew Bannecker transformed each image into a more provocative, modern motif.
As the countdown to curtain times began, we helped Folger expand its audience through a shift away fromtraditional and direct ad buys to a more programmatic, omni-channel approach spanning social media, digital radio, programmatic display networks and more. The combination of playfully sophisticated creative, strategic targeting, and bi-weekly creative optimizations resonated with drama enthusiasts, literary scholars and visiting tourists alike.
One more result: the work was awarded a 2019 Gold ADDY (American Advertising Awards DC) as best Integrated Brand Identity Campaign.
Behind the curtain
Folger’s Marketing Director, Peter Eramo, recounts the experience of working with Grafik on the “Shake the World” season.