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Light Up the Lyric campaign

Out-of-Home Ads, Entertainment

The once-proud Lyric Theater in Birmingham, Alabama, which hosted vaudeville performers like W.C. Fields and the Marx Brothers, had long been neglected, and was sorely in need of help. Ad agency Lawler Ballard Van Durand devised a simple, graphic, unifying rallying cry for the restoration effort. LBVD used the Lyric’s original marquee sign as a symbol for both the theater’s state of disrepair and the process of its rebirth. As money was donated to the restoration campaign, more and more lights on the marquee were illuminated, and the community was encouraged to “light up the Lyric.” A direct-mail piece included a light bulb donors could add to the sign with their contribution. The goal of the campaign, facilitated by Birmingham Landmarks, was to raise $7 million dollars in a year. LBVD’s campaign raised $7.4 million in 9 months, and donations are still coming in.

Lee Little/Dave McCanless/Pat Powell, designers; Steve Saari (Atlanta, GA), creative director; LBVD, ad agency; The Lyric Theater, client.