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Media Junction were recently asked to promote a tour by a global superstar. There were five gig dates happening in Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle, Liverpool and London. The promoter agreed to work with us on a ‘Test & Learn’ strategy to ascertain which headlines and keywords were most effective.

We segmented the audience in to 3 groups:

1. People who were searching for the artist name
2. People who were searching on specific terms related to the Tour
3. People who were searching for terms related to the artist & venues, e.g. similar artists, song titles

We assumed that each of these groups represented a different stage in the audience “discovery cycle”. For instance, they could be a fan who didn’t know about the shows or a fan who knew the tour was happening but searching for specific information. We then created seperate Adword groups for each audience segment and created ad-copy tailored for each segment. Finally we regionalised every ad to within 50 miles of each city and included the city name to provide further customisation.

However, one of the more interesting insights we learnt was running two virtually identical adverts, with one crucial difference: In one advert we called the gig a ‘Tour’ and in the other we called it a ‘Show’

The results were dramatic:

In other words, all things being equal, calling a gig a ‘Show’ resulted in nearly 5 times more clicks than calling it a ‘Tour’

This amply demonstrates the difference a word can have in Google ad-copy. We thought about why ‘Show’ is more effective and came to the following conclusion: Whilst the industry think of an artist as ‘Going on tour’ the public clearly buy tickets to a ‘Show’. After all, when you tell your friends you have bought tickets you don’t say, ‘I’m going to see {artistname} on tour’. You tell them you’re going to see a gig or a show. The public are therefore far more likely to respond to an event called a ‘Show’ rather than a ‘Tour’. However, we’d welcome other people’s interpretations.

Take a look at most advertising for live shows and promoters still use the word ‘Tour’ prominently. Following this insight we recommended the promoter use the word ‘Show’ on poster artwork.  This could lead to higher response and increased effectiveness of press and outdoor advertising to sell tickets.


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