Battle of the blockbusters


popcornNot so long ago, a box of popcorn and a few choc tops were an entrenched part of many Australians’ weekends.

Fast forward a decade and it’s a very different story for the Australian cinema industry.

Illegal torrents, streaming services, and the internet have changed many people’s movie consumption for good.

The cinemas are now fighting back, however, with the help of well established household names.

In 2014, Coles, Telstra, Optus, and Kogan are just some of the retailers and service providers to align with cinemas.

Two for one deals, ticket giveaways, and red carpet premieres are just some of the incentives shoppers are offered as part of these alliances.

For example, Telstra, which leads the cinema trend in Australia, gives its customers special offers at Event, Village, and Greater Union cinemas.

Customers are rewarded with $10 tickets and candy bar upgrades, as well as cheap tickets at The Moonlight Cinema.

Rival telco, Optus, has a similar arrangement with Hoyts as part of its ‘yes’ tickets customer loyalty reward program.

Over in online retail, e-commerce giant, Kogan, aligned itself with Event, Greater Union, and Village in 2013.

Its last promotion with PayPal gave web shoppers two for one movie tickets whenever they bought an item via the payment system.

Even supermarkets are getting in on the trend. Late last year, Coles initiated movie giveaways as part of a Christmas promotion.

Its Unreal Movie Deal in December gave shoppers up to four movie vouchers whenever they bought two or more participating items instore or online.


Promoted consumer brands included Gillette, Tresemme, Gatorade, Coca-Cola, Karricare, Huggies, Aurora, Optimum, and Cook&Dine.

Brands were rewarded for participating by increased sales, and the supermarket benefited from traffic and customer loyalty.

Karen Spear, director of shopper marketing at The Zoo Republic, says cinemas giveaways are overall a really good fit for retailers and brands.

“As movie tickets have mass appeal across a broad demographic range, they can attract strong levels of promotional participation,” she says.

Spear says various consumer studies are finding that shoppers are easily engaged by easy to understand giveaways, such as free tickets.

“Shoppers find promotions [with] a high perceived chance of winning to be very compelling, even if that prize is not of a high monetary value.”

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