We’re gonna need a bigger audience!

Festival Mix Brasil is an annual film festival which takes place in Sao Paolo. Run by Brazil’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organisation, it aims to spark debate about the diverse spectrum of human sexuality.

The festival is internationally renowned and, by many gauges, very successful. However, the organisers had a problem. While ticket sales had been healthy since the inaugural event in 1993, they’d plateaued out. Everyone who was into ground-breaking, taboo-questioning movies about sexuality was sure to attend the festival, but no-one outside of that niche audience would. So the festival had hit an attendance ceiling, which meant there was a limit to the money it was making. Which in turn meant there was a limit to the films, directors and stars they could bring to the festival to make it better.

This is where Neogama BBH come in. As it stands, straight people think the festival is purely for the gay community. And if that’s the case, the two options are – sell more tickets to the gay community or sell more tickets to people outside the gay community. While they didn’t want to compromise the appeal of the festival to the former (core) audience, BBH realised that the latter (‘non-users’) was the far greater opportunity in terms of numbers. But how could they get people to be interested in something they didn’t think was for them?

By positioning it as absolutely ‘for them’. Tapping into the cultural zeitgeist – specifically the tendency for people to label increasing numbers of things, traits and behaviours as ‘gay’ – BBH came up with the thought that if everyone is ‘gay’, the Mix Festival must be for everyone. The outstanding execution brings the idea to life brilliantly, giving us a piece of genius strategic and creative reframing that I reckon Dave Trott would call classic ‘Predatory Thinking’.


About antmelder
Executive Creative Director at Host/Havas Sydney; passionate vegetarian; lover of books, boxing and Bruce Springsteen.

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