Multiplexes are no more ready to remain confined within films – the new-age movie theatre complexes are on a mission to establish themselves as complete value-added entertainment destinations. Consumers are also demanding more bang for their bucks and looking for extra as far as brand launches, exclusive premiers, contests, promotions, discounts, value meals, plays and concerts go. The bag of tricks is far from empty and the power to drive customers is more enhanced than ever.
Take Fame Adlabs for instance. A recent venture was the launch of Belverade Vodka on the occasion of the Ocean Twelve Premiere wherein the concession area was converted into a mini party area, complete with a bar and DJ, not to mention, an array of showcase items, etc. Similarly the premiers of Shrek and Terminal were transformed into a special evening for patrons of BPL Mobile. Other notable events within the Fame umbrella include the Run for Bachchan promotion (when a marathon was organised to promote the movie Run), the tie-up of Shark 2 with PETA (when PETA used it as an event to endorse the cause of animal welfare), launch of Audi car with the movie ‘I Robo’, performance of Jay Sean at Fame Malad and a special concert by the famous group Band of Boys, etc.
Shravan Shroff, CEO, Shringar Cinemas, asserts, “Now you have consolidated entertainment centres in the form of movie theatres, restaurants and shopping arcades, bookshops – all under one roof. In addition, you have other aspects like brand launches, etc It could be as simple and suave as a wine and cheese evening for patrons, or a slightly more flamboyant screening of Vagina Monologues, or a totally smacking night thanks to an international artiste like Jay Seam.”
And how are marketers looking to be a part of the buzz? Shroff adds, “The launch of Audi car with the movie I Robo is a perfect instance of the changing mindset of most marketers. Multiplexes are a great entertainment destinations to provide exposure to other brands…direct marketing at its very best. And most marketers realize that. With all the clutter that other media vehicles provide in the current day, here you have a medium that’s simple, localized and cost effective. You could have long lasting partnerships with food and lifestyle brands, FMCG, banks and cellular entities.”
Vishal Anand, Group Leader (Marketing), Essel Group has a similar tale to narrate. Anand states, “It is not just enough to own a multiplex in the current day, it’s equally important to market the multiplex in the right manner. Which is through movie premieres, brand launches, loyalty programmes and so on. Multiplexes today aim to provide its customers the complete movie going experiences with ample choices.”
Anand adds, “We have more than two lakh people visiting us in a month and it’s a clear indication of the kind of mileage that you can get with the desired audience. Multiplexes gave a chance to explore niche markets and address variable audiences, their different tastes etc. With rise of disposable incomes at the hands of urban Indian family and if it's larger-than-life experience that will draw crowds, marketers are not leaving any gaps unplugged. I see it as a win-win proposition for all.”
Manmohan Shetty, Chairman, IMAX Adlabs, still bets on ‘film premieres’ as opposed to the rest of the bandwagon. “I always bet on the right horse. Promotions, brand launches and contests don’t really spell much of revenues for IMAX. We have plenty coming our way in terms of revenues, and small sized events and promotions don’t mean much to us. But film premieres are something else. These are high decibel events, splashed with stars, media and the public…the mileage derived is tremendous.”
All the same, events and promotions are big on the priority list of most multiplexes. So much so, that single screen cinema halls are taking a cue from their counterparts, and are taking the route towards more value added services. Plus, they are a lot more aggressive in their sales pitch as far as brands and marketers go. As Shroff sums it up, “The season of complacency is over, for single screen players. Either you sit up straight and make a note of the things around you…or you can shut shop and exit through the back door. There are no two ways about it.”