The value of cinema promotions


Ian Lacey, Business Development Director at Filmology, shares his thoughts on the value of cinema lead promotions to drive sales.

Everyone loves cinema!

Okay, that might be a bit of a sweeping statement; but there’s no denying that a trip to the cinema can be an exciting and enthralling experience. Plus, with just about every cinema around the country upgrading to state-of-the-art digital technology, the lure of the big screen has become an even more immersive experience for everyone.

And let’s not forget the small matter of the whopping 177 million admissions in 2018 alone (Mintel) and the fact that cinema appeals to all age groups – lots of ticks in the boxes for those savvy marketers out there looking for an ideal promotional partner!

So, taking these statements into account, is cinema relevant in the world of promotional marketing? Obviously, I would argue of course – yes! Surely delivering a successful sales promotion relies on a prize that people actually want, and if over 170m admissions a year is to go by, then yup, I certainly think there’s a strong case…

But there’s a big caveat here: and that’s the promotional world does seem to be leaning more towards gifts with purchase.

For example, Pepperami’s “Terrify a Friend for Free” promotion (a 2 for 1 for Merlin Park Entry) did well at the recent IPM awards. But you can’t simply be giving away a £10 cinema ticket for a £2.75 pack of Pepperami (Source: Tesco). The consumer would certainly be happy, but the brand would be bankrupted!

Therefore, I would argue the promotional methodology is key to success.

Instead of a 2-1 offer or ‘free ticket’ promotion, consider a collector scheme that everyone has the chance to win. Perhaps even look at a risk-based promotion, or even mix this up further with other prizes so that everyone can still win (i.e. non-winners of a cinema incentive win a money off coupon or even the dreaded 2 for 1 entry to a theme park… a personal view I might add!).

However, promotional marketing is not just about selling sticks of meat. What about the White Goods sector? After all, this sector is seemingly wedded to their cashback promotions – dull, dull, dull.

How about mixing up the consumer incentive and offering 6 months-worth of cinema tickets if you buy the latest washing machine of your dreams? Okay, it’s true very few of us like spending our hard-earned cash on such things, but if it meant we could go to the cinema after the spin dry, then perhaps this makes the purchase all that more enticing.

Of course, when considering cinema as a prize, we always think of cinema tickets to the latest blockbuster, right? At Filmology, we can be a tad bit more creative than that…

Think about annual passes, 6 months of free cinema, free popcorn and drink etc. And it doesn’t stop there – win a private cinema screening for you and your friends, win a half day to take your Xbox to your local Odeon and hold a FIFA tournament on the large screen. You hopefully get my point!

If you work with an expert like Fimology, we can generate innovative ideas that sells products.  We can even source a film inspired holiday – live like James Bond for the week, for example (yes, we’ve done it!).

Cinema of course is reliant on the film slate – what’s coming up? Well, the rest of 2019 has a whole host of huge films on the horizon – The Lion King, Terminator: Dark Fate, Frozen 2 and of course Star Wars in December. 2020 will also have some equally great films (Top Gun Maverick & Bond 25 being just two highlights – need I say more?)

Hopefully this article has inspired you to think about cinema and when you’re next scratching your head about a killer incentive to drive sales for your client. Consider the world of film and cinema: there’s more to life than cashback and the 2 for 1’s you know…

If you would like to find out how Filmology can help you, get in contact with Ian Lacey at