STUBHUB: JUST THE TICKET
There’s no market where supply is more fixed than entertainment events. A stadium has a fixed number of seats and performances, and demand varies wildly depending on who’s on stage. When life happens and you can’t make it to the concert, you might want to resell your tickets on the secondary market—but touting and scalping have a bad rep. How to sell? What to charge? How do you know it’s not a fake?
Ticket exchange market StubHub solves the problem—and does so brilliantly. More than the world’s largest ticket resale market, it’s also market maker, providing information on demand and supply so you know what price points people are buying and selling at. But not enough people knew the name. Which is where Scorch London came in, with a plan to create a chorus of approval by bringing more signups through StubHub’s doors.
Togetherness. Community. The joy of a shared experience. It’s what we feel at a stadium final or a rock concert, and why a live event feels so different to watching the same event on TV: air-guitaring to the heart-thumpingly exciting riffs of Ed Sheeran is a lot more fun when you’re with ten thousand friends. (On second thoughts, Ed’s a bad example, but you catch our drift.)
The beauty of ticket reseller StubHub is that no event is ever truly “sold out”. Prices rise and fall depending on the factor that matters – market supply and demand. Not how long you were able to spend listening to hold music, or waiting outside the box office in the pouring rain. With well-designed systems for exchanging, escrowing, and validating tickets, the site provides an incredibly useful service to people who don’t trust ticket touts.
The trouble was, less than a third of StubHub’s target audience knew the site even existed—it had just 29% name recognition, placing it way down the consideration list. With 71% of punters giving up on tickets altogether once official channels sell out, there was potential to reach a market three times larger than their audience today.
But numbers are one thing, engaging consumers is another. So Scorch got to work researching how people felt about the secondary ticket market, paving the way for a TV-led campaign fanning out into radio, outdoor, and social media. Just the ticket.
Recognising that consumers didn’t trust the secondary market, StubHub Global General Manager, Greg Atkinson, wanted to leverage the trust and comfort factors his site was built on—pricing with no hidden extras, intimate knowledge of seating plans at popular venues, and a money-back guarantee if you’re sold a dud. The company approached Scorch with a brief to develop an integrated above-the-line campaign for the first 18 months of its European launch.
Qualitative research came up with an additional insight beyond the trust factor: the emotional payoff for a punter was the thrill of the concert itself, not paying for the ticket. This led to a critical campaign concept: once official channels sell out, the only way you can go is if someone else can’t.
StubHub approved the direction, and Account Manager Sian Finnis and her team readied themselves to turn “They Can’t Go, So You Can” into an engagingly human slice-of-life story.
WHAT WE DID
The initial TV spot focussed on an important trust factor for consumers: where did my tickets come from? A hospital setting featured a man in a full body cast—obviously not someone ready to brave the mosh pit. Phone in hand, he’s selling his concert tickets on StubHub.
The 30s spot goes on to illustrate another StubHub user buying the unlucky patient’s ticket—and crowdsurfing at the concert itself, limbs splayed in the same manner as the man in the body cast. Irreverent? Of course. And extremely effective, contrasting the pleasure of the live event with the pain of not being there.
The communications strategy wasn’t limited to the UK market; the brief was Europe-wide. In addition to broadcast TV, the ad was shown in cinemas and across social media, with audio executions developed for radio and print for outdoor and mass media.
Later, the Scorch team refreshed the campaign with new branding guidelines and a rugby-themed execution for the sport’s World Cup.
Despite being new to the European market, in just eight months StubHub was the market leader in ticket resales, measured by both size and number of sales. Awareness—Atkinson’s core objective—also leapt, increasing to 55% at the 12-month stage. That’s more than half of all gig-goers adding the site to their consideration list.
On the respected BAM score, StubHub’s brand strength doubled, making it the best-known name in its sector. Not bad for a company doing its first large-scale ATL campaign.
Market leader in
At Scorch we always mix critical thinking with emotional feeling—stirring both quantitative and qualitative research into every project we take on, because that’s how consumers behave. If you’re looking to expand share of mind across Europe and beyond, we’ve got just the ticket. Contact Scorch London to find out how we can help with your next campaign.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
“Scorch have worked with us on several great (sorry, meant AMAAAZZZINNNGGG!!!) projects. They are great to work with, deliver on time, and are always ready to go the extra mile.”Renault