The power of the post: American Multi-Cinemarketing rises to top of share list

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Cinemas Features

After sitting out a month, our exclusive look at in- and outside-theatre marketing continues with an apparently record-reaching post of more than three million shares on Facebook. AMC Theatres’ holiday offer of a free small popcorn with the purchase of a $30 gift card received 3,058,533 shares, becoming the highest of last year—exciting news not just for our friends at the second-largest circuit but for the entire exhibition business.

“It’s another big signal about the entertainment industry’s influence in social media,” noted Ryan Noonan, director of public relations at AMC Theatres. “Among other most-shared posts of the year were a few by Tyrese Gibson, and the Fast & Furious 7 trailer.” According to CrowdTangle, “a company that tracks this sort of thing among more than 75,000 of the largest Facebook pages,” Noonan noted, “that’s about 400,000 more shares than the second most popular post.” That one was built around everyone’s favorite killer doll, Chucky, and was posted by Perez Hilton, yet another highly active entertainment brand, with 3.115 million shares.

While CrowdTangle promises “the easiest way to keep track of what’s happening on social,” this author relies on Jonathan Anker, a reporter at HLNTV.com (formerly CNN Headline News), to fill us in on lessons learned in 2014. “Next year, do you want to #win on #socialmedia?” he asked. “Own all the #buzz with epic amounts of Likes and favs for your posts? Well, skip the #branding tips, consultants and link bait and just start offering free popcorn. That, above all other lessons, is what Facebook specifically and the social Web in general has taught us this year.”

While we certainly agree on the power of popcorn at the movies, AMC Theatres also received great support from a bunch of Minions in creating that festive holiday spirit. The fourth most-shared post of 2014 featured a sweet yellow Minion that Tyrese Gibson crowned as wearing “the best Halloween costume ever!”

Circuit-specific promotions and policy trailers have become an amazing tool to generate interest and excitement for all parties involved. The Minions (once again) making the 3D screens brighter at Cinemark remains a personal favorite, along with Regal Entertainment Group’s “Go Big or Go Home” lineup with a great variety of films and studio partners. Currently, Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies are sending out SpongeBob and friends to teach about in-theatre etiquette, paving the (ocean) floor for another family-friendly hit, and not just at the multiplex. Special kudos to all exhibitor-relations teams that are making sure to include spots in their lineup that can be used by all theatres, big and small, circuit or otherwise.

Back to American Multi-Cinema: Both their Facebook and corporate sites offer an embarrassment of riches (what a quaint phrase—maybe it should be #enrichment) on how to engage audiences in the social net. And how to reward them with AMC Stubs and other specials. Promotions range from time-travel packages for Project Almanac and putting up 200 Paddington bears for ‘Share, click & enter!’ grabs to the ninth annual Best Picture Showcase that FJI has chronicled in the past.

In the latest twist on an ever-expanding program, AMC hooked up with Tilt, a convenient tool for people to pool funds for events and causes that is allowing guests to bring the Best Picture Showcase 24-Hour Marathon to pretty much any city that has an AMC theatre. “Make it happen by inviting your friends!” the promotion says. “Once 100 tickets have been reserved at the theatre, the event is on–you will be notified via email… If the event does not reach the minimum…the event will be canceled, and no one will be charged.” Appropriately, the fundraising tool’s motto is “Making Amazing Things Happen.”