Discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of sponsoring the musical, Sophisticated Ladies. Describes musical as a show with all-black cast set in 1920s during the Harlem Renaissance. Opines that sponsorship of Sophisticated Ladies may not be feasible since it is inconsistent with RJR brands' image. States that historical emphasis of show "does not reinforce SALEM's younger-adult, casual and fun-loving image nor WINSTON's masculine and quality product imagery." States that mixed, male and female audience precludes promotion by More brand. States that show does not provide opportunity to reach lower and middle classes. States that sponsorship by new brand, Bright, may be possible in order to "build brand awareness."
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February 24, 1983
To: t. W. Perry, Jr.
From: C. L. Sharp
Subject: Ethnic Market Opportunity - SOPHISTICATED LADIES
The purpose of this memorandum is to provide you with mypoint of view relative
to an RJR brand sponsoring the national touring company of Sophisticated Ladies.
Two very strong negatives significantly outweigh the single strong positive
that I have identified relative to the subject opportunity. Therefore, I do not
recommend that we pursue sponsorship of Sophisticated Ladies.
You may be aware that.So histicated Ladies is a show set in Harlem during the
. periQ.d..of ,ahe:' M~3r.lem,Renaiss.ance. _ 1920.`.s.. , Tbe,..fo.rmat, Qf. the_ sho~v is a.
musi.c,al .... ' .
with an all-Black cast exclusively featuring the music of Duke Ellingto`n. Note,
the musical piece "Sophisticated Lady" is one of Ellington's most famous pieces.
As further background, we have previously sought to sponsor another Broadway
musical with an all-Black cast, Dreamgirls. This sponsorship was never
consummated for reasons that are now irrelevant. However, it should be under-
stood that the Dreamgirls sponsorship represented the following opportunities
that are currently not present in the Sophisticated Ladies sponsorship.
Dreamgirls was primarily a product publicity program. The publicity angle
was that-Black groups in New York had spoken out against'the show though
it is a show about Black people and performed by-Black people. How-
ever, most Blacks -i-n New York would never see the show because the
- ad_mission price is approximately $40,-and the show i"s being performed -
not in Harlem but on Broadway._ With the-SALENI brand being considered
as the sponsor, the opportuhity w-as=thus..."SALEM Brings Dreamgirls
-to Harlem." We would have sponsored the performance of the show in the
Harlem community (open-air stage) and no charge for admission-.
Sophisticated Ladies does not present a product publicity opportunity.
Dreamgirls had a very mass appeal because the major song in the show
was #1 on the Soul. Music charts. Therefore, the show enjoyed high
visibility among the masses of people. The major song from the show
was being heard on radio,and the record was a best seller as a single.
Sophisticated Ladies does not offer the same benefit since Ellington
music is not current and popular.
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Ethnic Market Oppor.tun.ity.- SOPHISTICATED LADIES
February 24, 1983
The positive and negatives related to this opportunity are discussed below.
Inconsistent with Brands' Imagery
The show is a look backward at a time when Black people in Harlem were consi-
dered to be doing well. Therefore, the show does not reinforce SALEM's
younger-adult, casual and fun-loving image nor WINSTON's masculine and quality
product imagery. While the show is consistent with MORE's ima ery (i.e.,
females), the show's audience will be mixed (males and females}g.
Attendees Primarily General Market
The show is likely to be performed in General Market Theaters and not theaters
within the Black market. Therefore, the show is very likely to attract a
General Market audience. Moreover, most Black theater goers are likely to
be upper..class and.thus.;miss.in.g the mainstre.a.m Q.f Black people in the lower
and midd'Ie class.es.
. . . i . _ . _ . _ - . ` .. . . . ' . ' ' . . r" . . r. _ , . a. . . - . . . ., .. .. . . . .
.. ~;- , , .
Brand Exposure for BRIGHT Brand
Since the show is likely to have a relatively wide range of appeal, it might
represent an opportunity for BRIGHT as a new brand that needs to build brand
awareness. Therefore, brand exposure with the opportunity for trial is
important to the BRIGHT brand.
While sponsorship of Sophisticated Ladies does 'not likely represent an ethnic
market'opportunity,-there may be an opportunity for BRIGHT in the General
Market. - _
Cliff, I would be glad to discuss this matter further with you and/or George
(see his memo attached).