Happenstance Casting Call
- Client: Happenstance
- My Role: Creative Director, Producer, Copywriter, Strategist, Project Manager
- Project Goals: To produce a successful casting call with a very tight deadline
Happenstance is a TV production and non-profit organization founded by Amy Moore Gerber. The main goal of Happenstance is to help people in need, no matter their issue. Through their reality series, Happenstance showcases the struggle of individuals and the process of overcoming these struggles. While doing so Happenstance wishes to also motivate others to push through their own obstacles in order to achieve their goals.
Putting together and promoting a casting call for Happenstance in order to identify participants of its first season, but with only two and half weeks to get it done.
Getting to work
With little time to spare, we had to get to work right away.
PHASE 1: The Strategy
Based on the goals of Happenstance, I recommended we focus on two types of target audience for the casting call:
*Actors: Actors like any other person have personal struggles. Being familiar with the industry and being comfortable in front of a camera made this audience ideal.
*People in Need (non-actor): Happenstance is all about second chances for everyone and, of course, we wanted to give local residents an opportunity, not just actors.
PHASE 2: Branding
The next step was creating the branding for the event and determining all the marketing material we needed.
I recommended Bigstock photo, which has a one week free trial in which users can download up to 70 high resolution, high quality images for free.
Based on Happenstance’s overall message of positivity, hope and achievement, I selected the superhero kids theme, available on BigStock photo. I paired this visual with the tagline “You can achieve anything,” which spoke directly to our audiences.
Here’s what I created:
Landing pages not only provided all the necessary details about the casting call, but also a way to rsvp to the event. I created two versions of the landing pages on Unbounce. One page was dedicated for prospect attendees, the other for volunteers.
Although Unbounce eliminates the need for coding, it is still a time consuming endeavor since there are many details of a landing page that need to be taken in consideration when setting it up:
- Creating graphics
- Selecting and resizing images
- Producing smart copy
- Inserting tracking code
- Implementing SEO
- Creating and forwarding url
- Linking form to email list
- Setting up form submission messages
…and all the details that go along with each of these tasks.
I set up a free Mailchimp account for the client and created several emails that were sent out during the promotion of the event, and after.
We needed to create signage that would easily direct event attendees to our exact location. The hotel provided some signage, but these were not too visible, which is why I created complementary directional signage.
Originally, we hired a Fiverr vendor to draft our press release. As they say
You get what you pay for”
The quality was not great, so I ended up drafting the final press release:
PHASE 2: Promotion
Besides a tight deadline, one of the biggest challenges of managing this project was getting the team on board. The client kept assigning new tasks to team members, and given our tight deadline and budget constraints I needed “all hands on deck.” I was able to get a few more team members to contribute with our outreach. Some of the vehicles we used to promote the casting call:
• PRWeb: We used PRWeb in order to distribute our press release. This was actually the only initiative that required funds. We had 193 press pickups with a potential audience of over 178 million people.
• Free event on local newspapers: We submitted the event to local newspapers.
• Event page: We promoted the event through Eventbrite.
• NGO outreach: We approached several southern California non-profit organizations so that they could their members to join us. We provided email copy and flyer design, so all they had to do was send these out to their list.
• Backstage (casting call platform): This was by far our most successful marketing vehicle. Thanks to the platform’s features, we were able to reach a large amount of local actors in a short amount of time. The platform imposed a couple of outreach limits, which, of course, I figured out a way to hack.
• Social post: I created similar branded graphics to be used on social posts and event pages. The client did not want to do social ads, instead the post was just “boosted” on Facebook.
In brief, in two weeks I…
- Set up an Unbounce Account
- Wrote, Designed and set up 2 Web pages
- Set up a Mailchimp account
- Created and launched 3 email campaigns
- Drafted a Press Release
- Set up a PRWeb account and distributed release
- Designed a flyer and similar graphics in different formats
- Reached out to Actors via Backstage.com and responded to their inquiries
- Designed signs and name tags for the event
It was not easy, working 12 hour day some times, but we made it happen. The casting call was a success.
Happenstance had a great pool of prospects from which they could choose their upcoming season participants.
Best of all, the client was happy.