My role in A Christmas Carol is heading up the creative work on the advertising campaign and signature image that promotes the show every year. This season was truly a group effort, as the Goodman’s Marketing and Graphic Design team came up with a visual style unlike we’ve had in previous years, that gets more at the humanity of the story. We’re talking about why this story is particularly meaningful and needed in today’s world. The show always makes me weep at the end. I’ve seen it every year for 15 years, and it never fails to pull at the heartstrings.
Within a couple of months after the show closes, we start thinking about next year. It never really ends. We have a postmortem where we talk about what worked, and what was less effective. So I’m kind of thinking about the campaign for next year in the back of my head all the time.
The story doesn’t change, and its presentation doesn’t fundamentally change. Creating the campaigns is really about trying to get at what makes the show interesting and relevant, which is hard to do when the production is such an institution. People don’t want it to change that much, yet we don’t want to market it in the same way every year. So making it appear timeless, but also fresh, is the challenge.
A Christmas Carol endures because the Goodman does it so well. We don’t rest on the laurels of our past performances, or take the success of the previous production for granted. We look at it with fresh eyes every year. In many ways it could be seen as a cliché or a given for the season, but we never treat it that way. And the story itself fires on all cylinders. It’s so tied into the season and it really does embody the spirit of it as it should be.
The story itself is needed now because it exhibits humanity at its worst and best; and in the end, humanity at its best triumphs. The heroes are the people who live life knowing that we are all fellow passengers to the grave, which is true. It is kind of bleak, but it joins us together in a profound way.