y Helen Hanson, managing director, Hel’s Angels
Do you remember the last time someone gave you a free sample? Maybe. Do you remember the last time someone dressed as say, a witch or a cowboy gave you a free sample? Possibly. Do you remember the last time someone dressed as say, a witch or a cowboy gave you a free sample and proceeded to make your roar with laughter, or prickle with fear. More likely. Now, you may not have been moved by a witch or a cowboy in recent months, but you can’t have failed to notice the industry’s increasing demand for the skills of an Actor. Actors have always made great Brand Ambassadors; they tend to be presentable, energetic and articulate. Actors tend to be good communicators, listeners and improvisors, they can respond in the moment and adapt their voice and body language to suit a brand or a target audience. Actors are also resilient, they are used to rejection and survive knockbacks without trouble.
So Actors have always been useful to the industry but never more so than now, as the trend for experiential activity with a performance element continues unabated. In the last 18months we have noticed an ever-increasing demand for Brand Ambassadors with Acting skills who can take on Character roles. Project Managers have become in effect, casting directors. In such roles, staff are a far more integral part of the activity, they are responsible for the overriding tone of the campaign and given the power to make small, regular creative decisions in keeping with the brand ethos. A demand for an element of performance is also creeping into the more traditional BA roles – working with Exposure at the Jacques Townhouse last summer our Actor ‘bellboys’ charmed and our costumed Actress ‘hostesses’ wafted elegantly, but all our team – non character bar staff and bar backs included, were given movement training by project curator David Carter to ensure that a consistent tone existed throughout the house. In a competitive market it is no longer enough to give someone a free sample of a lovely new drink, you have to bring them into the world of the brand and make them feel something special as they taste the product. The theatrical is memorable, and memory has invaluable currency.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel – Maya Angelou