Ringling Bros.
and Barnum & Bailey

An older case study: Just as the campaign launched for the 131st Edition of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, it was time to start the campaign for 132nd. With different acts in each years edition of the show, plus two complete Circuses touring at all times, new branding was required. To contrast the previous years campaign, art was created in a more realistic (rather than playful) style, and branding efforts focused on the editions new star performers. The campaign was scheduled to launch with New York City in Madison Square Garden…

Then September 11th and the subsequent Anthrax mail terrorism changed everything, including the rules for direct mail marketing. We had to drop all multi-element package mailer concepts in favor of unsealed, self-mailers. So, we created a Magalogue format an 8-page plus gate-fold cover self-mailer. Or simply, a mini-magazine. This format included an inline business reply form and show specific panel (which were customized for each venue at the mail house), plus an added freemium. We attached temporary tattoo (for the kiddies!) under the gate-fold replay card. The results of this new strategy were significant. It lowered the costs associated with printing and production; eliminated the fear of suspect, sealed mail; and raised the bar for Return On Investment, establishing a new benchmarks:

» 45% increase in ticket sales
» 13% response rate
» 50% decrease in production costs

A few samples from the campaign are shown below…