Com & advertising
French Time, it more or less means Extra Time – in French version. With that, you are no further ahead – the meaning is not so clear, is it ?
It’s the time that we offer ourselves, time where we do nothing at all, those moments that we steal to everything we have serious and important to do, and since it’s in the French version, I add to that a large dose of lightness, a lot of casualness, a totally scandalous tendency to do nothing at all at a café terrace, and an even more scandalous love for the time of the meal.
Do you have the situation in mind?
It will be early in the morning, before going to work, or at noon, or the break between work and coming home for homework… in short, French Time is time for yourself.
I promise you that I still have all my reason – and yes, I am talking about those moments of pure laziness, of total well-being, of the dolce vita from my country – instead of telling you a show for Altair, or a crazy idea to make you live under a big helmet.
I think I’ve already written several times about how astonished I am to see large companies, people who are so serious and professional and competent, who still allow themselves to be lured into spending astronomical sums of money on communication and advertising budgets – for communication products that are so pitiful.
I have nothing against poorly thought-out productions that are pitiful – if they are not expensive – and not pretentious.
Otherwise, of course, I have everything “against”.
My topic of the day will be a detour through an action of communication and publicity that we have carried out here, to our greatest benefit – in every sense of the word.
We have called it the ‘sandwich’ – because this word has a rather special meaning in France.
It refers to the midday meal.
The sandwich is lunch. When we have a sandwich in the evening, everyone is worried about our bank account. So a sandwich – for us – is a little thing that you eat any way you want for lunch. No table, no wine, no plate, not what you’ll find on a table in France – no, the sandwich, stolen from the English, is what you eat when you don’t have time, or not too much time, or when you have something else to do.
Here I’m not teaching you anything at all.
At the theatre, we had used this stolen time at our meal and we organized tiny shows at lunch time, and everyone with his sandwich.
To give you an idea of the organization, we did absolutely in : “French” when he wants to have some pleasure at lunch at the café .
Our little round bar tables, our pretty “bistro” chairs, our bouquet of flowers, because we’re not savages, little lanterns because it’s pretty, pretty little napkins, snacking things: in short, a French café decor version: let’s go to the terrace – you have that everywhere in Paris – and we’re ready to welcome the public.
The public is in a hurry – first of all because we all love the cafés here, it’s a national tradition – and secondly because we offer a lunch hour with a little bit of entertainment as well – of course.
As we have reconstructed a café terrace – to attract our public – we don’t offer big shows.
No, it will be either in readings or in concerts, a little time with young artists.
The idea is to allow kids who are in drama schools to get started, without stress, quietly – well, they are stressed anyway. They do readings in accordance with the “big” texts that come on stage during the week, and then everyone starts talking about theatre, acting, directing, future projects: in simple terms, we create a link (yes, it’s a bit of an obsession for me) between the audience and the world of artists – future artists.
For music, the same principle – with students from the music conservatory… : and the same results.
What is extremely practical, from the point of view of the relationship with the public – and especially with the young public – is that on our mini-stage there are very young people: as a result, the great texts, the great music – everything that is great and superb – comes down to earth.
And when kids (these are young adults) from the audience chat with kids from art schools – suddenly the atmosphere changes and this strange and evil place that is the theatre stage becomes much more affordable and interesting.
Of course, we don’t charge the audience for these performances – we can sell them food and drink, though.
We ask them to book if they want to come in bands – and in fact the kids book quickly and that’s the only constraint we have.
These are not big actions that cost fortunes – they are targeted actions that allow us to fill the halls with the audience we have chosen.
And since Altair wants to be a real theatre, with real rooms and real spectators in them – I like it as much as I do that communication expenses go into actions like this one – which doesn’t look like anything, it’s true – but which is really effective in terms of creating sympathy with the public.
And an audience that loves your place is an audience that comes back to it.
And even – they can forgive you for a completely missed show – because there are necessarily some.
Whereas those who arrived because the poster is pretty… if the show is a failure, not only will you not see them again too soon, but they’ll tell everyone that your place sucks.
And then, frankly, how could you resist this French idleness? – I never resist the call of the café terrace – yes, I am French, well – all right – but there are a lot of great things in France, I can’t just talk about our national failures.
Featured Image : Paris – by Solene Debies