Client: MeriBrands
Category: Sponsorship


As part of its PR strategy to support MeriBrands sponsorship initiatives with publicity, Janine Lloyd and her team at Livewired Communications was responsible for securing publicity for the sassy musical comedy ‘Does My Bum Wobble?’

The campaign highlighted local musical theatre and the comedy caberet genre in the press and created vast positive exposure for the producer, writers cast and crew of the show.

Over a three month period we demonstrated how creating an innovative publicity campaign for this sponsorship created awareness, filled seats and created tangible opportunities for Canderel and the producers of the show.

Statement of Problem/Opportunity

Following the success of No Sugar Canderel Please, well known theatre actress and producer, Shelley Meskin and Emmy winning script writer, Thomas Hall approached Canderel with the opportunity to sponsor a new South African musical comedy called ‘Does my bum wobble…?’ (DMBW). DMBW was a new, ironic, light and funny musical comedy.

Trends in South Africa indicated that theatre attendance was declining, in addition the economic situation was worsening which meant that consumers would be hard pressed for cash and would closely scrutinise entertainment or luxury spend. Canderel believed that the production aligned so closely with the target audience of its brand and was innovative enough to bring excitement and fun into theatre: it therefore decided to go ahead with the sponsorship.

We were tasked with developing an engaging publicity campaign which would support marketing efforts to bring in attendance as well as establish a platform to extend the production with ongoing seasons and other extensions.


We conducted internet and library research to gain deeper levels of understanding before planning the campaign:

  1. The South African theatre and entertainment landscape
  2. Meetings with Shelley Meskin and Old Mutual Theatre on the Square to ascertain key challenges and flesh out objectives
  3. Media clippings research of successful productions
  4. Media research to include theatre and entertainment media reviewers


The team jointly collaborated with Shelley Meskin to develop an integrated approach to the entire marketing campaign. The three- pronged approach included the following elements: advertising, public relations and tactical marketing (including online).
Leveraging local and national public relations resources was paramount for DMBW’s promotional strategy. Our role was to alert local networks and newspapers to continuing developments complementing the innovative marketing approach in the theatre genre.

Communication Objectives

  • Develop a high profile publicity campaign which would support marketing efforts to bring in attendance
  • Establish a platform to extend the production with ongoing seasons and other extensions
  • Raise the profile of actress Shelley Meskin in her first solo producer role
  • Support the production’s corporate bookings programme for year-end

Sales objectives

  • Sell 6200 seats

Target Markets

  • Predominately women, single, dating, LSM 7 – 10,
  • Secondary audience included men, single, dating and married women

Message Formulation

The following key messages were created:

  • ‘Does my Bum Wobble?’, sponsored by Canderel, is a new, ironic, light and funny musical comedy
  • ‘Does my Bum Wobble?’, sponsored by Canderel, should be on your calendar of ‘must see’ events – you can’t afford to miss this sexy, sassy, edgy show
  • ‘Does my Bum Wobble?’, sponsored by Canderel, is the perfect event for your year-end party
  • ‘Does my Bum Wobble?’, sponsored by Canderel, is perfect for women’s get together’s, first dates or if you want to experience “fall off your seat” laughter

Communication Channels

The following channels were selected to reach target audiences:

  • Online media – consumer, lifestyle, entertainment, marketing, retail
  • Consumer Magazines – lifestyle, entertainment and health
  • Daily, weekly, Sunday newspapers – entertainment & lifestyle
  • Community newspapers
  • Radio – entertainment, lifestyle programmes
  • TV – lifestyle & entertainment


We developed a range of tactics to generate exposure for the campaign to encourage pre-publicity as well as exposure from the opening show.

  • Secured media partnerships with Get it Magazine, Biz-Community, SL Magazine which included exposure and competitions to win tickets to the show
  • Organised for posters of the production to be placed at Universities in JHB and PTA, namely University of Johannesburg (RAU), Pretoria Technikon and Wits University.
  • Created a web page on Facebook to facilitate a viral marketing campaign.
  • Created a student night to stimulate attendance on quiet days. SL Magazine and SanDisk were approached and signed up as sponsors of student night. Free giveaways were provided which included, magazines, MP3 players and flash disks.
  • Stimulated media coverage in what’s hot sections of magazines and newspapers including web site mentions
  • Organised a media preview evening where 40 media (excluding partners) attended the launch event
  • Motivated and setup media interviews with Shelley Meskin which resulted in quality publicity
  • Created interesting editorial angles to stimulate media interest including:
    – Jerusalem Star Premiers First theatre production
    – The funny side of SA theatre
    – Find out if she can laugh on the first date

Difficulties encountered

  • Media were not entirely keen on publishing material on the show prior to the opening, but good motivations were put forward which resulted in positive publicity prior to the show.
  • When motivating media attendance at the Premier we found media had to be convinced to attend the evening. We prepared key selling points for the media based on messaging developed and the innovation of the production.
  • Secured opportunities for ‘Does my Bum Wobble?’ on SABC 2 Morning Live, Showbiz report on eTV and Top Billing on SABC 3. Due to the client not having footage available on time, these opportunities were lost.
  • Social advertising budget on FaceBook was not substantial, therefore the traction we had hoped for through this medium was not as substantial as we had hoped. This has presented us with a testing ground for further engagements through a social networking platform such as Facebook.


  • For a theatre premier ‘Does My Bum Wobble?” had an occupancy rate of 20% above the industry norm which was phenomenal considering that theatre productions cancelled or closed early due to economic pressures faced by consumers.
  • Various producers approached Shelley Meskin to take the production forward nationally.
  • Shelley Meskin has been approached to translate the play for the Afrikaans market.
  • ‘Does My Bum Wobble?’ has been turned into a franchise and exploration and development is currently under way for a variety of elements such as cook books, dating services and other peripheral projects.
  • Targeted media coverage – the client was seeking quality coverage in key daily, weekly newspapers. We secured publicity in key target media including: The Star Tonight, Business Day, Pretoria News Tonight, Beeld Plus, Citizen Vibe, Sunday Independent.
  • Total exposure value of R2.2 Million over a two month period