The past five years I worked in marketing at the Edinburgh Fringe, a nightmare of flyers, posters, advertisements, press, and ad space. There are books on how to advertise at this one festival. You’re competing with 90,000 other companies for a limited amount of audience so you have to clever.
The single best takeawy from that was:
ARTS MARKETING SHOULD BE AS CREATIVE AS THE ARTISTIC PRODUCT
The shows that were able to generate immediate buzz had a branding gimmick that was as clever as the performance. One of the Japanese national companies handed a flyer that folded infinitely onto itself. A Scottish improv troupe branded coconuts with their show times. My favorite was a magician whose show info was only revealed after you set the paper on fire.
Many of these were expensive (such as the Midsummer Night’s Dream production that wood-burned their info onto tree bits) some were frugal (a comedian who carved his show time into his boot, dipped it in paint, and created a path that lead to his venue), but all were clever.