Did you know that the world of sales and the world of horror movies have a lot in common?

Cinemas are one of the places (outside of McDonald's) where the most upselling and remarketing happens. When a large Coke is only 30p more than a medium, which is only 20p more than a small, it is very easy to upgrade and gorge on the next level of snack. 

The truly strange thing can be summed up in one simple question - when was the last time you saw a cinema advertised outside of the cinema?

It is ridiculous. It is obtuse. It is a mystery beyond compare. How come cinemas do not advertise themselves?

One simple explanation for this could be what was explored in yesterday's blog. It could be that because the cinematic world has taken huge cuts in customer service they do not actually have that much to advertise. Another explanation could be the hike in prices - but then why do they not advertise their deals outside of their walls?

One example of this comes from one of the large cinema chains in the UK, when I saw an advert for a deal they were doing with the summer blockbusters. See three and get a free combo, four and get a combo plus a ticket, and all five and get two free tickets. Judging the price of cinema tickets it seemed like a good idea. I got talking the next day to one of the Account Directors here at CAB and mentioned the deal to him. The conversation ended with "I'll send you a link."

There is no mention of the deal on the cinema website. Absolutely nothing.

This seemed like a massive oversight. Why would the cinema have such a great offer shown pre-show but mention it nowhere else? Not online, not on social, not anywhere. The ROI for the existing advert would have been abysmal.

Target -Audience

The above diagram shows who the cinema chain are targeting by only showing adverts of their deal in their own screenings. The average TV viewer sees 47 adverts per day, with the average person watching 4 hours a day. It is the perfect audience to advertise cinema deals to. Alternatively elsewhere in the cinema, at the front of house or on their website. Instead there is nothing and thus making it a more or less wasted advertisement.

Social Media and the website would be the perfect places for advertisement, with 99% of people visiting cinema websites to check to see what is on.

According to the analytics site SEMRush, that specific cinema chain website gets over 800,000 hits a day. On top of this a PPC campaign brings in anywhere from 5k to 25k a month. These are 825,000 potential customers who could be encouraged to participate in the offer and yet there is nothing on the website about any offers the cinema has.

At the very start of this article I compared sales and advertising to the world of horror movies. They are the same. They both fall into the trap of being about the same old clichés. 

Horror Movie Clichés

Cinema Clichés

  Overused jump scares.

  Overpriced tickets.

  Overemphasis on alcohol.

  Overpriced food.

  Same old selection of characters.

  Same old selection of snacks.

  Uncomfortable characterisation.

  Uncomfortable seats.

  Bad marketing.

  Bad marketing.

  Alienation from characters.

  Alienation from customers.

  Bad acting/bad writing.

  Bad customer experience.

It takes something truly special to break away from the clichés, yet it is not something that is impossible to do. The Picture House cinema chain have managed to achieve it, along with several different independent chains. Touché to some of the larger chains as well, as they have their own services to make the cinema experience that bit better. Showcase De Lux is one example of this. The truth is simple though - there is no reason why the De Lux could not be the norm. There is no reason why great customer service could not be the norm. 

Cinemas need to improve their own marketing. They need to get better by looking at their own branding, improving it, and marketing it to the right audience at the right time. 

Customer -Experience