Circus Sampler

Crying Out Loud

Social Media

Crying Out Loud came to HdK Associates to assist with audience targeting and brand awareness for their circus event, Circus Sampler, in conjunction with Somerset House. Circus Sampler was four days of free circus performances across two weekends in July and August 2018, to give audiences an introduction to all the different art forms involved in circus.

Circus Sampler

Brand Deployment
Logo Animation
Content Creation
Digital Advertising

Circus Sampler was free to attend and took place at a cultural landmark in the centre of London. One goal was to engage a new audience who did not have previous experience with the venue and does not attend cultural events. The wide range of performers was a challenge to promote without causing confusion for the audience or inconsistency in the content.

The arts can be seen as intimidating and inaccessible: expensive and intellectual. However, Circus Sampler challenged these preconceived ideas, as it was free, outside, centrally located and audience members were able to engage as much or as little as they wanted with the performances.

We created short videos and animated gif  to use specifically on social media and advertising purposes. Additionally, we selected some of the strongest images to brand and incorporate into social media use. As well as creating the content, we designed and ran an advertising campaign targeting three distinct audiences.

Content Creation
The first step in our content plan was to create brand co-hesion on all the assets, which we achieved by animating the logo, which also reflected the fun, high energy aspect of the event. This was primarily implemented across the videos, including the high-speed, colourful and exciting main trailer. This was primarily aimed at family groups with younger and older children and demonstrates the diverse appeal the programme held.

As the event was not ticketed, Crying Out Loud needed a lot of assets to use throughout their promotion, to raise brand awareness and then to hold that interest. Therefore, we created several pieces to use across social media, including carousel images taking advantage of Instagram’s sliding image format where users can see one image continuously as they scroll. We also created several assets specifically to use across Facebook and Google Advertising. These considered the various dimensions available, but also what the user experience and interaction would be like.

Facebook advert

Storyboard for trailer title sequence

Audience Targeting
We targeted three audiences for Crying Out Loud:

Culture Lovers – Audience based in and around London, who frequently engage with dance, physical theatre, festivals and arts events.
Families with Young Children – Audiences based in specific boroughs around Somerset House with young children, looking for holiday activities. They may already engage with culture wanting to introduce their children to it in an accessible, relaxed environment.
Families Disengaged with Culture – People based in London, who are interested in family activities and children’s topics, but who do not engage with culture frequently.

Facebook advert

Digital Advertising
We used Facebook and Instagram advertising, as well as Google Search and Google Display Network for this campaign.

On Facebook, as this project was non-tickets, we felt that the organisation needed a way to sustain interest in the run up to the weekends, rather than running pure traffic adverts. Therefore, we did a mix of brand awareness, Facebook event advertising and creating bespoke audiences, as well as retargeting.

To demonstrate the variety and the quality of the piece in a short time frame, we created several gifs to use across the Google Display Network targeting all three audiences, with emphasis on Families Disengaged with Culture. However, rather than using interests to create our Ad Groups, we focused on relevant websites. This strategy worked particularly well.


Over the course of four days, spread across two weekends, Circus Sampler at Somerset House was a huge success. The programme achievied the organisations goals of attracting new audiences to circus, with attention to ethnic minorities and young people. Additionally, Crying Out Loud met the audience demographic targets they had agreed upon with their funders.

10,913,502 impressions / 24,938 clicks through to website / 8,310,791 Google impressions through mobile devices / 810 Facebook event responses