Rent had opened at New York Theatre Workshop a few days earlier to the sound of a cultural sonic boom. The night I attended I held in my hand the single hottest ticket in New York.
The next day, I wrote Jeffrey and his producing partner Kevin McCollum a letter, outlining my ideas, my vision, my passion. I am still so proud of it.
Marketing to yourself is the easiest form of marketing we do, and we get to do it rarely. But that was the gift of Rent. During art school at the School of Visual Arts, I was baffled by what I saw as Broadway posters. While the shows appealed to me, the campaigns didn’t. Rent was a true Broadway musical to me, not some strange basement concert. But I thought most of Broadway had forgotten about the Baby Boomers who loved it but who were never marketed to in a contemporary way. And that is how I proposed to sell it: as a true Broadway musical, but marketed with a contemporary voice.
Two of my finest clients ever, friends to this day—Jeffrey and Kevin—asked me to design the rest of the campaign, beyond the album—to write the copy, make the newspaper ads, then the TV commercial. It was all given to a Broadway newbie with the faith of true believers and supporters.
Creative Direction: Drew Hodges
Designer: Naomi Mizusaki
Photographer: Amy Guip