Best practice from Apples & Pears Marketing.
US-based National Amusements have invested in the development of a new entertainment concept called Showcase Cinema de Lux, a next generation version of their Showcase cinema brand.
As part of the new Highcross shopping centre development in Leicester city centre, the 12-screen multiplex has been designed and built over the last four years with the official launch set for September 2008.
Apples & Pears Marketing were given a six week PR project for the opening of the Leicester Cinema de Lux to create local excitement and awareness of the new venue, primarily through use of the media to ensure high attendance during opening week and beyond.
The whole of Highcross Leicester is due to open to the public on September 4, 2008 which incorporates over 120 businesses. With so many companies all vying for the same valuable page space, how do we ensure Cinema de Lux has a good media presence in the run up to and including opening week?
A targeted media campaign was developed to be rolled out over a six week period, to develop strong links with key local media through the use of exclusive promotions, editorial features, one to one briefings, interviews with key personnel and a series of behind the scenes preview tours of the cinema.
An initial background briefing pack was issued to all relevant media including regional and local newspapers, regional lifestyle magazines and BBC and commercial TV and Radio programmes.
This was followed up with a series of sneak preview media tours of the cinema which were led by General Manager of UK Theatres for National Amusements and the Leicester Cinema de Lux General Manager.
These tours gave the media the ideal opportunity to run some great preview features and also the chance to interview the team behind the scenes.
Weekly news stories were also issued to keep the media hooked, with details of the cinema’s recruitment and training, its restaurants and bars, installation of the exclusive ‘ultra leather loveseats’ and the opening week film schedule - all making headlines.
Media partners were secured for two exclusive screenings which were held the night before the cinema opened to the public. Tickets for these screenings were given away on two local radio stations Leicester Sound and Sabras Radio ensuring a wide and diverse audience was reached in the week prior to opening with daily airtime on both stations.
Additional promotions were also arranged with both print and broadcast media to give away tickets to the cinema, including a competition with the Leicester Mercury’s weekly event guide The Week to give one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of film tickets every week for a year.
A further special screening was arranged for the Leicester Tigers rugby team during opening week with the team signing autographs and giving away signed merchandise to fans.
The official opening event was held in partnership with the Highcross development team and was to open both the shopping centre and the cinema. Held at the cinema on September 4, the opening ceremony was attended by around 250 delegates, including local dignitaries, film distributors and the media.
Dominic Heale of BBC TV’s East Midlands Today introduced the proceedings with a guest appearance from ITV’s This Morning’s resident showbiz reporter Allison Hammond. Hammond then joined Robert Steele, Vice President Strategy and Corporate Development for National Amusements and Lord Mayor of Leicester Councillor Mrs Manjula Sood to perform the ribbon cutting.
During the day the media was invited to take a tour of the completed facility and interview key spokespeople. An open house followed later in the day where members of the public were also given tours of the cinema.
The cinema opened to the public on September 5 and so far (as of September 15) 85 pieces of coverage have appeared with reviews and features still to come in the monthly lifestyle publications.
With an equivalent advertising value of £56,000 the media coverage reached a total audience of 9,323,450.
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