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Will Movie Theaters Get An ‘Oscar’s Bump?’

By understanding the affinities of moviegoers, advertisers can build audience profiles and pinpoint relevant audiences to serve the most relevant content (or deals/incentives) at the right time and place, according to stats from Foursquare and Ubimo.

  • Although ratings for the Academy Awards has tended to decline the last few years, the broadcast still attracts roughly 40 million viewers, making it one of the remaining “mass watching” television events after the Super Bowl.

And while the commercials during the Oscar’s are almost as noted as the Super Bowl, in this case, the actual show is one giant ad placement for movie theaters.

At a time when Netflix and cable–produced limited series dominate the culture, can the Oscar’s still generate business for movie theaters? A study from Foursquare suggests it can.

“By understanding the affinities of moviegoers, advertisers can build audience profiles and pinpoint relevant audiences to serve the most relevant content (or deals/incentives) at the right time and place,” Foursquare tells GeoMarketing.

For example, Foursquare data shows that consumers who see movies post-nomination tend to be slightly older and have certain affinities (e.g. we found they’re fast food fans) so theaters can tailor their marketing strategy to reach those types of consumers to amplify the “Oscar’s boost” and capitalize on this critical post-nomination period.

Foursquare’s figures indicate that targeting consumers’ specific affinities can also help connect Oscar’s viewers with theaters.  (Foursquare analyzed visit and taste data for Foursquare Swarm users who checked in to specific movies between May 2017 and January 2018, and compared it with visit data for the average Foursquare Swarm user. All data is pseudonymized, analyzed in the aggregate, and normalized against U.S. census data.)

Among the stats Foursquare’s Oscar’s data shows:

  • The Oscar Bump: When Oscar nominations were announced the weekend of January 23, 2018—foot traffic to movie theaters increased more than 5 percent compared to the prior weekend.
  • Trendsetters vs. Followers: To better understand how nominations affect audience behavior, we analyzed last year’s most nominated film, La La Land, before it was nominated vs. after. The big takeaway? Following an Oscar nom, La La land attracted an older crowd.
    • Pre-nomination audience: The pre-nomination crowd was comprised of more cultured, tech-savvy millennials. These consumers are more likely to visit nightclubs (11 percent), cocktail bars (35 percent), wine bars (23 percent), music venues (43 percent), music festivals (94 percent), Sephora (128 percent), art galleries (26 percent), tech startups (65 percent), Apple Stores (59 percent) and skew younger.
    • Post-nomination audience: The post-nomination audience is comprised of slightly older home bodies who enjoy one-stop shopping. These consumers are more likely to visit Walmart (16 percent), Sam’s Club (31 percent), grocery stores (11 percent), beer stores (12 percent), hardware stores (15 percent),  Burger King (18 percent), and skew slightly older.
  • Best Picture Viewers: We took a closer look at the audiences of some of this year’s “best picture” nominated films to see what tastes they over index for compared to the average U.S. consumer:
    • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri—Sports Fans: Viewers are more likely to visit baseball stadiums (2.3x), basketball stadiums (2x), and hockey arenas (1.6x).
    • Dunkirk—Music Fanatics: Viewers are more likely to be seen at opera houses (5.5x), concert halls (1.9x), and enjoy record shops (1.6x), jazz clubs (1.4x) and music stores (1.3x).
    • Get Out—Wellness Junkies: Viewers are more likely to visit yoga studios (1.6x), pilates studios (1.6x), and enjoy salad spots (1.5x), juice bars (1.5x) and vegetarian restaurants (1.6x).

Loyalty and Affinity At The Movies

Ubimo’s location intelligence platform, Polaris, generated some fun facts and actionable marketing insights related to the upcoming Academy Awards as well. Here’s Ubimo’s Oscar cheat sheet from Gal Jacobi, the company’s head of marketing.

Loyalty: What differentiates occasional cinema visitors vs. loyal/frequent visitors (visiting at least 3 times in the last 90 days)?

1) Age: It is no surprise that senior citizens have more time to go out to the movies. Loyals over index with ages +65. It is worth mentioning that going to the movies is also a preferred leisure time activity for 25-44 year olds. 18-24 year olds seem to prefer other activities.

2) Household income: It is no surprise that there is a correlation between amount of money spent on leisure and HHI. We see over indexing of loyals vs. occasionals at the +$150K.

Disproportionate peak of +79 percent for the $200-250K segment.

In parallel, there is also a peak for loyals at the $50K-$100K segment. This could be an indicator that although cost of tickets may be perceived as high, it is still a preferred, cost-effective American leisure activity when benchmarking against other going-out activities.

3) Family size: families with more than 3 kids or families with no kids are more likely to be occasional rather than loyal (+3.2/+4.2 percent respectively). Families with 1 or 2 kids are more likely to become loyal cinema visitors.

4) Gender: Men tend to be slightly more loyal cinema visitors. The higher the frequency, the more likely to see a bias towards male visitors (male over index +3 percent vs. female).

What are the differences between visitors to the two leading US cinemas brands?

Regal is more appealing to female (+6pts vs. AMC) and for $50K-$100K HHI.

AMC is over represented with older population (45 years old and above) and no kids (+8 percent vs Regal).

Benchmarking brands affinity:

AMC Regal
Fast Food Brand Affinity:

  • Quizno’s – 7.54x more likely to visit when benchmarking vs the total population
  • Chipotle – 3.95x
  • The Cheesecake Factory – 3.34x
  • TGI Friday’s – 3.34x

Apparel Brand Affinity:

  • Nike – 6.5x more likely to visit when benchmarking vs the total population
  • Adidas – 6.25x

Retail Brand Affinity:

  • Toys R Us – 5.8x more likely to visit when benchmarking vs the total population
  • Whole Foods – 4.6x
Fast Food Brand Affinity:

  • Starbucks- 3x  more likely to visit when benchmarking vs the total population
  • Panda Express – 2.8x
  • TGI Friday’s – 2.7x

Apparel Brand Affinity:

  • Nike – 4.1x more likely to visit when benchmarking vs the total population
  • DSW – 4.7x

Retail Brand Affinity:

  • Giant Food Stores – 6.9x more likely to visit when benchmarking vs the total population
  • Toys R Us – 6.1x more likely to visit when benchmarking vs the total population
  • Whole Foods – 6.7x

 

Visitation trends:

Overall visitation: Saturday is the most popular day of the week (19.7 percent), while Friday is second highest (16.3 percent). Wed and Thu are the weakest. 6PM is the peak hour for going to the movies.

Going out for movies and dinner is not only fun, but from the cinemas’ perspectives, it also means higher visitation frequency and better loyalty. See example for AMC vs. AMC Dine-in:

Impact of the Jan 23rd Oscar nomination Announcement:

  • The Oscar nomination announcement generates a positive impact on cinema visitation:
  • +12 percent lift in cinema visitation on Fridays and Saturdays (peak days of the week)
  • +5 lift post nomination announcement vs. pre nomination
About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.