Even as it undergoes a multi-million dollar physical renovation, San Francisco’s landmark Curran is refreshing its brand with help from AKA. The entertainment advertising and marketing agency has developed an eye-catching campaign promoting Curran: Under Construction, a festival of non-traditional events held in a restricted portion of the theater unaffected by construction activity. The festival and the supporting marketing campaign are part of a broader effort to create a bold, new identity for the theatre—which hosts Broadway shows and other live events—in tune with evolving theater demographics and audience tastes.

“The Curran is not only renovating, it’s expanding its programming and it’s reaching out to a wider audience,” says AKA Cultural Business Supervisor Kevin Bradley. “San Francisco has diverse, culturally aware population, but many people are not regular theater-goers. We want to change that.”

Working alongside Curran’s national publicity agency, O&M Co., AKA’s creative team has been working with San Francisco artist Aaron De La Cruz to create visuals with a local flair for Curran: Under Construction. De La Cruz’s minimalist, graffiti-inspired artwork has been applied to the exterior of the 93-year-old theater. It has also been incorporated into the event website, advertising, programs, tee shirts and other material.

The tone of the campaign, says Bradley, was inspired by Curran owner Carole Shorenstein Hays, who believes the venue should reflect its urban environment. “Aaron’s artwork speaks to Carole’s view of San Francisco as a dynamic, multi-ethnic community,” Bradley observes. “It’s bold and daring.”

AKA complemented the artwork at the front of the theater with a whimsical system of arrows that directs audience members to a side stage door that provides egress to the temporary performance space. “The visuals are designed to attract a lot of attention and make the whole building stand out,” Bradley says.

“AKA has infused the Curran with a look and feel that perfectly communicates our ethos,” Shorenstein Hays said.  “The façade of the building now stands as a representation of our commitment to local artists, our respect of tradition, and our desire to take bold creative risks.  It has been, and continues to be, a deeply satisfying collaboration.”

The project is exciting for AKA, which has created campaigns for such Broadway hits as Matilda the Musical, Les Misérables, Fiddler on the Roof and Dames at Sea. “It’s our first project for a West Coast arts organization,” Bradley observes. “It’s fun and a very creative project.”

About AKA
AKA is a global, full-service advertising agency with offices in the US, UK and Australia. The AKA Group, including Digital Media Services and the film advertising agency The Creative Partnership, delivers creative, strategic and insightful campaigns to the entertainment and culture industries worldwide.

The New York office, led by Elizabeth Furze and Scott Moore, delivers innovative solutions across media, marketing, partnerships, interactive, creative, broadcast content, insights, and campaign management, with a proven record for producing sales-driven campaigns for premium, must-see productions, venues, exhibitions and events.

Current and recent NYC clients include: Matilda The Musical, Les Misérables, Fiddler on the Roof, Dames at Sea, Spring Awakening, American Psycho, Hand to God, Sylvia, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two, and The Audience. 

For more information, visit aka.nyc