Demanding Supply: What the Sydney Festival can learn from adidas and Star Wars

Becks_late_at_Sydney_Festival the Becks Festival Bar @ The Barracks [source]

so last night I spend a brilliant evening jumping around to Big Black Voodoo Daddy & Black Joe lewis and the Honeybears at the Becks Festival bar (above).  its all part of the Sydney Festival, which opened on Saturday with Al Green performing to about 200,000 people in the Domain.

but here's the thing – I had to buy my and Jonathan's (hi Jonathan @jonnyp) way into Big Black Voodoo Daddy et al, because all the tickets had been and gone months ago when they were first released.  it seems to me that there for a city the size of Sydney the festival just doesn't seem BIG enough…  there needs to be more stuff, more to do, because the demand is currently far outstripping supply.  …and thats the thing about supply and demand – the more there is of something, the more we want of it:

Supply-demand-right-shift-supply.svg Induced demand: When supply shifts from S1 to S2, the price drops from P1 to P2, and quantity consumed increases from Q1 to Q2 [source: Wikipedianess]

I love the counter-intuitiveness of this.  the more you create of something the more people want it.  the problem however is that at the same time the value of the commodity goes down – but only if the commodity in question is homogeneous.

this is the great opportunity for something like the Sydney Festival – you don't make it bigger by making more of the same; in order to protect value you need to produce more of the different.  more venues, more spaces and places, more 'differentiated scale'.  in this the festival can learn much – and a big thanks to a heads up from @Fraser201 on this – from adidas and Star Wars…  yeah, I know…

in December of last year adidas announced the creation of an originals range inspired by the Star Wars universe, its been trending up ever since:

there's three very smart things about this, the second two of which relate to really brilliant understanding of induced supply.  the first thing to say is that in no way shape or form will adidas ever have to spend a penny in broadcast advertising of this range: its existence will be all the marketing collateral they need.  but thats not whats really interesting about what adidas are doing.

I had a quick conversation with the lovely Chrissie at the Sydney Originals store this morning, who informed me that the range isn't all being released at once, rather its being phased over three months.  thats the first smart way of increasing supply without compromising price; phased supply over time.

secondly, not all lines will be equally available – some of the lines will be general release and fairly easily obtained, but others will be strictly limited, some down to two pairs of sneaks per store.  thats the second smart way of increasing supply without compromising price; variable availability.  the entry levels for demand are different – individuals with heavy demand will invest more time and energy than those with lower levels of demand but the value equation for both will be similar.

both the Sydney Festival and adidas' Star Wars range can teach communications a thing or two too: imagine that the theory of induced demand applies to bought media…  an increase in the volume of advertising impacts has resulted firstly in a fall in the value (real or perceived) of brand communications and secondly, an increase in the demand for brand communications…  advertising has gone from the Immortal to the Immediate:

Sistene_banksy from the Immortal to the Immediate; Michelangelo’s Sistine ceiling (top) took four years to paint, current economics wouldn’t favour its commissioning today.  Banksy’s Tesco Flag (bottom) took a little more than four minutes

it couldn't be less about doing a few things well; fewer bigger better needs to be thrown out with the noughties.  rather its about doing lots of things well enough.  on which I'll let you enjoy the awesomeness of the below…  they're on phased release from now till March, form orderly queues please…

Adidas_sand_bg 

Adidas_atat_bg 

Adidas_luke_bg

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