Campaign: A deluxe experience
Client: Showcase Cinema
Sector: Entertainment
Timescale: May 2008, 12 weeks
Tactics: Design; media; online marketing; public relations

McConnells was asked to create a fresh campaign to launch the first ever Showcase Cinema De Lux in the UK, as well as to develop the Showcase Cinema brand to integrate the new ‘deluxe experience’.

Showcase
Objectives

• To create a local ‘buzz’ around the new Cinema De Lux
• To generate interest in Showcase’s new cinematic experience amongst film lovers across a broad geography
• To increase awareness of the revamped Showcase Cinema brand locally and nationally

Strategy and plan

Design – branding
McConnells undertook a brand audit and conceptualized a new image for Showcase Cinema. This formed a solid basis for the campaign and defined key messages, namely that Showcase and Showcase Cinema De Lux offered the ultimate film-going experience. McConnells then set to work creating an innovative and integrated campaign for the ‘deluxe experience’ using both traditional and cutting-edge media.

Media
On-the-page, radio, SMS, video and billboard advertising was used to generate initial interest and leaflets were distributed outside existing Showcase cinemas in the local area.

Online marketing
The Showcase Cinema’s website was redesigned and search engine marketing, including search engine optimization, was implemented. Viral and email marketing campaigns were created to increase hits to the website.

Proximity marketing
Recognising that many of the target audiences were already using the Westfield Shopping Centre, McConnells devised a fun awareness campaign to capture shoppers’ interest by using Bluetooth casting to send rich messages, such as video, to passing shoppers. Three Bluetooth casting pods were installed throughout the centre, three broadcasting generic messages about the new cinema opening, and the fourth allowed people to download film previews. Each message encouraged the reader to subscribe to SMS updates, via a text-based competition.

Public Relations
In the run up to the launch a proactive PR campaign was implemented, drip feeding stories about everything from employment opportunities to the luxury experience available. A launch event was then organised, complete with celebrity guests. A competition to win VIP tickets was run with local radio station Ram FM. In return, the station agreed to promotional trailers, live presenter reads, and a promotional online microsite with data capture. Listeners were encouraged to enter the competition via a direct response SMS mechanism. Press releases about the event were produced and distributed to both local and national media.

Measurement and evaluation

The launch generated positive coverage in the consumer and trade press, including national television. Over 40 pieces of editorial coverage were secured in local newspapers and glossy magazines and national cinema magazines. 7,605 people downloaded the Bluetooth messages, including 2,046 for the film previews, with 870 people subscribing to SMS updates about the cinema. The Ram FM competition had 98 presenter reads over a two week period and attracted 3,000 entrants through the microsite and 1,000 via text message. News and television channels reported live from the launch party giving significant coverage for Showcase Cinema De Lux across the Midlands.

RESULTS: Overall, the campaign achieved a high level of national awareness and brand recall. Press coverage was generated in local publications like the Derby Telegraph and national titles such as Property Week. The new website received thousands of hits each week. At the end of the campaign, there was a high level of awareness of the new cinema regionally. This ‘buzz’ also created sold out showings and higher level of demand than other local Showcase Cinema figures had shown previously.


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