Table of Contents
6 7 8 10
Positioning & Key Tenets SWOT Analysis Target Market Research Paper
18 Logo Development 21 Tagline Development 22 Moodboard 23 Toolbox 24 Brand Persona 26 Ad Development
30 Brand Signature 33 Images 33 Textures 34 Colors 35 Fonts 36 Logo & Reproduction
46 Brand Work 48 Website 50 Print Media 52 Social Media 54 Motion Graphic 57 References
6 7 8 10
Positioning & Key Tenets SWOT Analysis Target Market Research Paper
Arguably one of the most prominent African-American theaters, in the country, the Ensemble is home to Houston, TX, an unsuspecting leader in national performing and cultural arts. Houston is second only to New York City, in the number of theatre seats and has a rapidly growing creative industry. Therefore, the Ensemble Theatre is prominently positioned at an epicenter of cultural prowess.
Modern- Founded in 1976, the Ensemble is charged with conveying the black American experience, in a socially relevant light. Therefore, the theatre strives to evolve with the times, maintaining social relevance. Engaging- As the Ensemble seeks to connect with contemporary audiences, Act One engages younger audiences via social media and networking opportunities aligned with the production season. Entertaining- At itâ€™s core the Ensemble is a theatre, entertaining the Houston-area and beyond for over thirty-five seasons.
• Excellent reputation of quality programming, for over 35 seasons.
• Aging loyal audience and subscriber base.
• Strong community presence.
• Inconsistent online presence.
• Only local African-American theatre, owning and operating its own performance venue.
• Target audience heavily concentrated in suburban areas.
• 24 hour online accessibility information and purchasing.
Opportunities • Large influx of Act One target audience to Houston-area. • Redefine both Act One and the Ensemble as a distinct experience for mature contemporary audiences.
Threats • Association with older and non “hip” audience. • Growing generational apathy for live theatre. • Alternative nightlife opportunities, that are more “pop-culture.”
• Exposure to Metro-rail riders, at forefront of city-wide expansion.
Target Audience A membership campaign for Ensemble Theatre season subscribers, Act One seeks to attract early to mid-career professionals, who enjoy live theatre and social networking. Age 21 - 35 African- American Middle to Upper-class College Educated Early to Mid Career Professionals Avid Social Network Users
Avid Social Media Users
Research Paper The Ensemble Theatre is a non-profit arts organization, which offers a number of arts and educational programs. The primary focus of the Ensemble is its annual six-show production season, playing from September to June. Throughout the summer season young performers camps are held on the campus of the theatre, providing professional training for aspiring performers. Also, throughout the school year, the Ensemble produces touring educational shows performed at various community schools and community centers. Over its 35 year existence the Ensemble has taken great strides to connect with the Houston community, forging partnerships and garnering the support of various local and national organizations. The theaterâ€™s commitment to the cultural awareness and development, through conveying an accurate portrayal of the African-American experience, is sublimely evident. Regularly recognized by the National Black Arts Festival, the Ensemble has proven to be a leader and innovator of African-American theatre. Recently, the Ensemble theatre developed Act One, a young professionals group, which hosts networking events, fund-raisers and contemporary productions, which supplement the Ensemble Theatre season. Act One spearheads marketing efforts for younger audience. The debut of Act One shows the theatreâ€™s commitment to contemporary spectators and their ability to adapt to changing times and audiences. The proposed Act One brand campaign primarily focuses on online promotions, targeting contemporary audiences of early to mid-carrier professionals and entrepreneurs, 21-45 years old. Components of the brand campaign include a brand identity development of brand work, including logo design and tag line generation, improved brand strategy and an online promotional campaign. 11
The oldest and largest professional African-American theatre in the Southwest [United States], the Ensemble Theatre is one of the only professional theaters in the nation dedicated to the production of works portraying the African-American experience. In these times of vast and swift cultural change, due in large part to social and new medias, the Ensemble, like many theatrical companies worldwide, is faced with the challenge of connecting with and sustaining younger audiences. In doing so the theatre has developed a coalition of early to mid career professionals, ages 21-45, who enjoy live theatre and social networking. Act One acts as a supplemental arm to traditional Ensemble membership campaigns, with a focus on generating younger audiences, and making avid theatre goers out of colleagues, associates, “friends” (Facebook) and “followers” (Twitter.) Traditionally, Ensemble promotional campaigns have consisted primarily of mailers, printed brochures and the word of mouth of regular subscribers and board members. While these efforts have been successful amongst its more seasoned audience, it has fallen short in generating a younger following, which is paramount to the continued success of the historical organization. Moreover, many non-native Houstonians are even aware of an African-American theatre being in the city. The 2010 Census shows a reverse migration of African-Americans, in the 1900’s, occurring. Many African-Americans are now moving south, particularly to the suburban areas, of large metropolitan cities. Houston being one of the 12
leading metropolitan areas. 40 percent were adults, ages 21 to 40 and one in four newcomers have a four-year college degree” (2011). Which reflects the young, educated African-American, target audience profile of the Act One campaign, precisely. A large portion are migrating from large East Coast and MidWestern cities, such as New York, D.C. and Chicago, which are typically more steeped in the cultural arts. Therefore, the Ensemble is in a unique position to appeal to this influx of
new Houstonians and culturalists. Moreover, the growing role of creativity in modern culture has created a new societal class, “the creative class… from engineering to theater, biotech to education, architecture to small business.” (2008) This emergence of creative professionals, concerned with cultural aptitude, is another emerging audience for Act One to target and draw on.
& After thirty-five years of continual programming, brand awareness for the Ensemble Theatre is moderately prevalent amidst Houstonians. Despite offering an array of programming that reaches generations of audiences, the majority of season subscribers and regular attendees are aging seniors. At times younger audiences, who were exposed to the organization in their youth, associate the theatre with their parents, grandparents and educators, who first brought them to the theatre. Sampling the audience of the Ensemble on any given performance night, you will find that the majority of audience members are forty-five years old and above. Notably, each theatrical season there are two musicals, that manage to draw younger audiences and more families. Yet, they are noticeably absent for the remainder of the season. With a number of social alternatives for the Act One demographic to choose from, from happy hours to concerts, this audience is inundated with options of how and where to spend their time and money. Therefore in addressing this audience we need to do so in manner that shifts the perception of the Ensemble from â€œyour parents thingâ€?, or a place merely for family outings, to a viable option for urban contemporaries. 14
References: Skildum-Reid, Kim. (2007). “The Sponsorship Seeker’s ToolKit.” McGraw-Hill- Australia. Neumeier, Marty. (2006) “The Brand Gap.” Marty Neumeier- San Fransisco. (2012) Company Overview. Retrieved from: http://www.ensemblehouston.com
CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT 16
18 Defining Act One 20 Moodboard 22 Logo Development 24 Tag Line Development 25 Toolbox
After ideation and competitive analysis of industry logos, a simplified, primarily logotype was developed to best represent the Act One brand identity. Bold, modern sans serif fonts as well as informal scripts, were experimented with to counter the traditional, serif type of the parent company logotype.
Spotlight imagery was also used throughout iteration, to add a element indicative of theatre and the Act One brand essence.
The function of a tagline is to communicate a brandâ€™s promise in a memorable way. The newer the brand, the more important it is to supplement the brand signature with a defining tagline that will motivate potential customers to want to learn more. A contemporary audience campaign for the Ensemble Theatre, it is key to co-brand Act One along with the parent company, to incite interest in both. 1. Act One. The perfect nights on the town. 2. The Ensemble, now. 3. A contemporary Ensemble Theatre experience.
Moodboards provide a visual representation of the images, textures, brand colors, brand persona and theatrical elements, to be utilized for proper reproduction of the Act One Re-Brand.
The toolbox further establishes font hierarchy colors specifications, for brand reproduction.
Brand Persona Age: 25 Gender: Female Location: Houston, TX Educational Level: Post Grad Income: $42k Occupation: Teacher
Ayanna is a 25 year old teacher who relocated to Houston as apart of Teach for America. Ayanna is originally from Chicago and selected Houston as her transfer city for a change of pace and climate. Ayanna often hangs out and networks with fellow members of the Teach for America Corps. In the year and a half since relocating to Houston, Ayanna has been on the Ensemble once, to attend an event in the rear ballroom, facilitated by an outside organization. She wasnâ€™t even aware of the main stage production going on at the time. Ayanna and her colleagues often comment on the limitations of the Houston cultural-arts scene. Especially for young African-Americans. 24
Brand Persona Age: 34 Gender: Male Educational Level: MBA
Location: Houston, TX Income: $67k Occupation: Property Surveyor
Derek is a native Houstonian, who moved back to the city after living in Washington D.C. for 7 years, where he attended Howard University. Despite enjoying the east coast immensely, Derek moved back to Houston to lay down roots with his fiancé, also a Houston native. The lower cost of living was also a major factor. Derek’s family lives in Pearland, a suburb of Houston. They have one daughter who is 4 years of age. Derek works in town as a property surveyor for a local grocery store chain. Derek and his fiancé commute to town each day for work and most social activities. Derek has seen one Ensemble Theatre production, on a family outing, to see Cinderella. 25
“And that’s just Act One...” Advertisement Campaign was developed to broaden awareness of Act One, and the Ensemble Theatre’s offerings for contemporary audiences.
Ad Campaign Development
Consisting of motion graphics and print media, “And that’s just Act One” illustrates the contemporary audience experience, at the Ensemble Theatre as defined by the Act One brand signature. Advertisements differentiate Act One nights, as catering to young professionals.
Ad Campaign Development
STYLE GUIDE 28
28 Brand Signature 30 Images 31 Textures 32 Colors 33 Fonts
Act One captures â€œthe contemporary Ensemble Theatre experience,â€? for the early to mid-career sophisticate and avid new media user. The voice of Act One, should speak to the brand mission and vision of the brand extension, while conveying a witty and provocative tone. Messaging should dually brand the Ensemble, while establishing a distinct identity for Act One.
Act One is a coalition of early to mid-career professionals (age 21- 35) who enjoy live theatre and social networking. Their endeavors support the Ensemble Theatreâ€™s membership campaign and cultivation of younger audiences.
The Act One brand will establish a more contemporary voice for the historic organization. Act One will establish the Ensemble as a epicenter of culture and opportunity for its target audience of young professionals.
Images Effective and engaging imagery is key in capturing the brand essence of Act One. Images of subjects, reflecting the Act One target audience, should be expressive and enticing. While urban scenery, theatre elements and imagery establish setting.
The Act One brand utilizes physical textiles and textures created by visual illusions, such as bokeh. An appropriate mix of textures should be used in promotional designs and collateral, as well as on-site at Act One events. (Illusion)
Colors In theatre, color and lighting establish focus, mood and setting. Borrowing from light design, primary warm and cool colors, red and blue are used to evoke mood. Black, white and tan establish the clean look and feel of the Act One brand.
RGB: 51, 51, 153
RGB: 255, 51, 51
RGB: 255, 255, 255
RGB: 153, 153, 102
CMYK: 99, 97, 3, 1
CMYK: 1,98, 95, 0
CMYK: 42, 30, 70, 4
CMYK: 75, 68, 67, 90
Fonts The font hierarchy of Futura headers, joeHand2 or Helvetica Light sub-headers and Helvetica body copy establishes a clean and modern tone, with a touch of character. With primarily online placement, sans-serif fonts will ensure on-screen legibility.
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ Futura (Condensed Medium- All Caps) Headers
joeHand2 Sub-Headers (Print Only)
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz Helvetica Light Sub- Headers Helvetica Regular Body Copy
Watermark Logo & Tag line
The Act One brand logo is primarily logotype with a simple spotlight element, established by a cut out in the logotype. The sans-serif font- Futura (Medium Condensed) subtly establishes the contemporary essence of Act One. Where possible reproduce the brand logo with tag line, for a tie back to the Ensemble. Additional variants of the brand logo have been created for online use, to ensure Act One is ready for social sharing and web browsing. The favicon should only be used for the Act One website, while the logo watermark is to be used only to brand Act One via event photography, before online posting and social sharing.
An understated logo, designed to compliment the Ensemble Theatre logo, the primary Act One brand logo is a one color logotype. Whenever possible the primary, black, Act One logo, should be reproduced to represent the Act One brand.
To ensure effective contrast and visibility, the secondary (light gray) Act One logo should be reproduced on all dark backgrounds.
A clear, uncluttered space,demonstrated by the dashed perimeter, should be maintained whenever the Act One logo is reproduced. Clear-space should be equivalent to the “x” of the Act One logotype.
To maintain legibility and proper representation of the Act One brand, the brand logo should not be reproduced smaller than 1.5 in or 112 px wide. 1.5â€? or 112 px wide
• Do not alter proportions of the logo mark. • Do not add an outline to the logo mark. • Do not add a drop shadow to logo mark. • Do not tilt the logo mark. • Do not apply opacity. • Do not reproduce on distracting backgrounds.
When produced in print advertisement the Act One logo should be place toward the bottom of the ad, just beneath the call to action.
The logo may be supplemented by either the brand website or tagline. Supplemental logos with the logo and tagline to be provided by the designer. Ensuring consistent reproduction of alignment and spacing.
On social media profiles the Act One logo is to be used as the profile picture. An element of the header image should be used as a background or portion of the profile picture. Creating a visual depth.
Logo Placement Logo mark is placed prominently in the top left corner, for universal recognition as the homepage link.
FINAL DESIGNS 44
42 Website 44 Motion Graphic 45 Print Media 48 Promotional Items
Final Brand Work The final brand work for Act One consist of a refined logo and tagline, to properly represent the Act One membership campaign and the Ensemble Theatre. The Act One brand logo is primarily logotype with a simple spotlight element, established by a cut out in the logotype. The sans-serif fontFutura (Medium Condensed) subtly establishes the contemporary essence of Act One. While brand recognition of Act One is growing, the brand logo should be reproduced along with the tagline whenever possible. Therefore, dually branding the Ensemble Theatre. Four variants of the logo file have been created with and without the tagline, and for dark background reproduction. Each file consist solely of vector outlines, for proper scaling and reproduction. The logo mark is not to be reproduced by anyone other than the original designer.
Final Website Act One targets internet savvy, avid social media users. The new web design meets the standards of the modern Ensemble Theatre audience. Site design focuses on generating social media followings, video content and social sharing capability, to meet the Act One goal of connecting with avid social network and new media users. Artistic direction of the Act One website supports the streamlined, modern, yet glamorous aesthetic of the multimedia brand campaign. The website provides an interactive and responsive web experience, standard for the Act One target audience.
Print Media While Act One promotions are primarily online, Ensemble Theatre playbills offer an opportunity to present Act One to general Ensemble Theatre audiences. Likewise, the Ensemble often trades playbill advertisement space with fellow arts organizations in the Houston-area. Pre-show seating time as well as intermission provides adequate time for a captive audience to learn more about Act One, Apart of the “And that’s just Act One...” Advertisement Campaign, three print advertisements were designed to broaden awareness of the Act One subscriptions. These 5.5’ x 8.5’ ads can be dually used as oversized postcard fliers, for street team distribution and mailers.
Social Media Identity Having a target audience of avid social media users, Act One maintains public Facebook and Twitter for Act One and Ensemble Theatre promotional use, and audience interaction. Due to social sharing and repost, the Facebook and Twitter pages, are often the first point of interaction for many potential Act One subscribers. Therefore, social media pages should consistently reflect the Act One brand identity through internal postings, as well as the interaction with friends and followers. Facebook and Twitter header images have been designed to supplement web and print designs.
Motion Graphic Focusing heavily on online promotions both on the Act One and Ensemble Theatre websites, as well as on external culture and event sites a :30 motion medium web banner was created for online advertisement promotions. The banner supplements the primary “And that’s just Act One...” Print Advertisement, detailing the benefits of Act One membership. With online promotions purposed to draw potential subscribers to the Act One website, video and motion graphics are key. Effective video banners improve search engine ranking, as well as increases online purchasing by 85%
Dalilah Whitmore is a freelance creative based in Houston, TX. With a background in the performing & cultural arts and non-profit arenas, Dal is particularly focused on brand development & promotions of local arts organizations, small businesses and non-profit organizations -enhancing local and urban culture. Her professional experience consist largely of work within the non-profit sector, facilitating and marketing programs and events for at-risk youth. Through properly branding and positioning local organizations, initiatives and cultural events, Dal aims to expose all audiences to opportunities beyond their environment.
All images provided by Getty Images (www.gettyimages.com) and The Ensemble Theatre (www.ensemblehouston.com) For reproduction of stock imagery owned by Getty Images, proper licensing must be attained by the Ensemble Theatre.
Published on Nov 15, 2012