Monday, October 04, 2010

Kelly Miller Circus Pushes Power in Website Video Samples, But Do They Give Too Much Away?

UPDATED, 10/4: See Paul H's comment
Back to the promise of John Ringling North II, should I reinstate my "obsession"? I just revisited his website, and to my surprise and provisional delight discovered a couple of professional promo videos, one 15 seconds, the other twice that, that are, through and through, professional. The promos are clean, to the point and strong: "At last, a real circus!" Good hook. "America's one ring wonder!" Excellent.

This tells me, despite my earlier concerns, there is somebody over there minding the marketing store. Sometimes, that is. Read on.

Also to be found on the same website are video clips, not professionally produced, from five of the show's acts in a You Tube gallery. On balance, they fairly impress, but they offer prospective patrons probably too much. Contained therein are clips lasting from a brief effective half minute to over four minutes. Yes to the former, NO to the latter.

Such a video should tease and not satiate. Should not give too much away, which is exactly what happens with Armando Loyal's six well handled elephants -- did you hear me, six -- more than Ringling? -- earning over four minutes. It does not make marketing sense to me.

The good: Casey McCoy's cage turn, clocking in at 37 seconds, making hay with yet another winning item (I've only seen this guy's work in the world of You Tube): One of his agile charges on hind legs approaching another tiger and jumping over it erectly with captivating dexterity. You can hear the crowd's proper appreciation.

Single trap enthusiast Nikia, A "first time in America" import for North II, fills the air with fast-moving energy and abandon.

Some very cute tricks in Roxie Montan's dog and pony drills, but not easy to make out in less than ideal lighting. Too bad these clips could not have been shot under a full tent.

Of course, the show-stopping Poema kid charms the crowd, I just don't understand the value in giving so much of the act away.

Music comes through as strongly supportive and relevant as I recall on my visit to the show in Brewster, NY. Classical ringmaster John Moss III's announcements are resilient and to the point without being overbearing for a one ring frame.

Okay, Kelly Miller loyalists. Yeah, I'm still here. Still have a pulse. Before you lurch forward with irrational exuberance, spell check your profanity.

[photos, off Kelly-Miller website, from above: Adrian, Jr. and the Poema family; Casey McCoy]



Paul H. said...

Ahh, David. Methinks your worries are misplaced.

I caught KM on a couple of occasions in suburban Chicago - enjoyed the LIVE performances immensely (from different vantage points in the big top.) The website videos offer a nice sample but don't come remotely close to the sights, sounds and, yes, smell of the real thing.

You'll recall that venerated RBBB was annually featured in an hour-long network television special. I never heard of any damage at the box office caused by the TV exposure. On the contrary, the big TV specials (hosted by the likes of Dick Van Dyke and Arthur Godfrey) whetted the appetites of circus-goers.

In today's information age, KM's marketing is right on track.

On another note, the show closes in just a few weeks. Plans are already afoot for next season's performance - some good stuff to come!

Showbiz David said...

Paul, delighted to hear your upbeat account. I just think it's better to offer brief teasers than too much of an act. Did the first TV specials in 1955 1956 help or hinder? Hard to say. But wait for my take on the show's '56 business, due up the road. Looking forward to what JRN II comes out with next season.