Melbourne Theatre Company
Recasting a theatre company as a cultural leader
With a 70-year legacy, Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC) is Australia’s oldest professional theatre company. They engaged us to renew their relevance and ensure they would be around for the next 70 years (and beyond).
As new artistic director Anne-Louise Sarks took the helm – the first solo female director in the company’s history – the time was right to cement MTC’s position as a leader who brings communities together through the art of theatre.
From perceived as elitist to known as warm and accessible
They say if you want to know the truth about life, go to the theatre. But somehow, the theatre has become less important to people – viewed as irrelevant at best and inaccessible at worst.
We developed the positioning idea “We’re for stories: the ones less told, the ones told before and the ones yet to be told,” to shake off the preconceived stuffiness of theatre and reposition MTC as dynamic storytellers.
To make the brand more engaging we refocused its brand strategy, incorporating principles that celebrated the openness of the company’s stage shows, education programs and community engagement. While an updated tone of voice established Melbourne Theatre Company as a place for everyone, on both sides of the curtain.
From a theatre company to a contemporary leader in the arts
To be recognised as one of the world’s preeminent theatre companies, the MTC brand needed a place in the spotlight – but it also had to allow programming to shine.
Focusing on a brand-first mentality, we developed an identity led by typography that carried the institution’s values and ensured its accessibility across different applications. The bold typography sits against a vibrant colour palette, creating a distinct and dynamic layer for the identity.
From having conversations about theatre to championing cultural conversations
Under its new creative director, MTC committed to progressive programming that championed big, bold ideas. By elevating MTC and positioning it as the presenter of these stories, we established the company as a cultural leader who shares new ideas from emerging and acclaimed artists that spark ongoing conversations.
From ticket sales driven by programming to ticket sales driven by loyalty
In the past, MTC’s ticket sales depended on programming highlights – relying on individual shows to bring in revenue. Our brand-first focus changed this, uplifting MTC from a secondary role to a front-of-mind institution.
It established brand equity and loyalty for MTC that can be leveraged as broader awareness, leading to future ticket sales and subscriptions. More importantly, it lets MTC take their place as cultural leaders – an institution that’s celebrated and beloved by the wider community.