Copywriting – children’s events

Journal of Arts Marketing Issue 04 – January 2002

Raspberry & Peaches
Writing copy for events aimed at children presents an interesting challenge – who are we talking to, the grownups or the kids?
Peaches and Cream… (and not a single rasberry!)
A family theatre trip is the result of complex negotiation between the adults and the young people, even if those young people are under 8s. We know from countless research reports that all but the most confident theatregoers are anxious that they will not enjoy themselves. But this anxiety increases if you are making the decision to attend on behalf of other people. Adults know only too well that children have particularly high critical standards. Unlike their partners or friends, they will not tolerate being bored. Worse still, if they are bored, the kids will blame them and probably behave inappropriately (and embarrassingly).
Some promoters clearly feel that there are shows that need no introduction. The A5 leaflet for Bradford Alhambra’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs names the two headline stars and adds a single strapline ‘with a fabulous supporting cast’ before going on to set out a staggeringly complicated pricing structure on the back. But which are the shows that need no copy? Leeds Grand’s leaflet for Peter Pan has one line of copy, ‘The fabulous family pantomime’ and the layout and use of colour and typefaces is similar to dozens of other large-scale pantomimes across the country…
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