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Disney streamlines movie rewards with Fandango partnership

Disney is streamlining mobile ticketing and loyalty opportunities for its Movie Rewards members via a new Fandango partnership appealing to families and younger users.

Consumers with Disney Movie Rewards memberships will be able to link their accounts to the Fandango VIP platform, enabling them to accumulate rewards points for purchasing tickets for Disney films. This integration will likely be a home run for both brands, due to the sheer popularity of Disney movies and the growing mobile presence of Fandango and its ticketing options.

“Fandango has been the go-to mobile movie ticket application for a long time, it’s even in Apple’s roundup of essential applications,” said Scott Michaels, executive vice president of Atimi, Vancouver, Canada. “Knowing that it is the main purchase point for movie tickets, this integration makes sense for a few reasons.

“The Disney Movie Rewards program requires you to send a photo of the ticket to earn the points – on the Web site,” he said. “Via the Fandango purchase this is not required and therefore much easier for the end user to participate.

‘The Fandango app already has a number of rewards programs in place, so this is an expected behavior. So, because it makes it easier to participate in the program, I would expect that it will create a small uplift in Disney movie ticket purchases via Fandango.”

Branded cross-partnerships
While branded cross-partnerships often augment awareness and sales for both marketers involved, they ultimately must offer relevance to both target audiences and feel organic to customers. Many Disney film fans likely purchase their movie tickets via digital platforms, meaning this integration may provide real value to all parties.

“Certainly it makes sense for Fandango’s movie app to integrate with Disney Movie Rewards,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of Siteminis, Atlanta. “Ticket-goers that don’t want to stand in line for a movie, especially on first run weekends, will jump to this type of service.”

More Disney Movie Rewards members may now be swayed to download the Fandango application and use it exclusively for all future ticket purchases. Mobile loyalty is paramount for any major marketer to leverage, but is especially well-suited for a film ticket company.

If users are on the fence about seeing the latest Disney animation or live-capture and realize they need only a few more points to receive free tickets for another film, it could prompt them to buy tickets via Fandango and visit their local cinema.

This functions as an excellent way for Fandango to ensure that it maintains the business of Disney fans and prevents them from turning to another mobile ticketing app as their purchasing channel of choice.

If Fandango opts to roll out exclusive behind-the-scenes content in conjunction with the Disney integration, the promise of actor interviews and secret tidbits could be another major selling point for downloading the app.

As mobile ticketing continues to gain traction with a large amount of the public, entering into relevant partnerships with major film studios stands as a lucrative decision for brands such as Fandango or

Keeping loyal fan bases
Fandango’s VIP platform allows participants to save their favorite theaters and films to the app and receive insider perks, including digital downloads, exclusive discounts and free tickets.

Users can also tap their smartphones to watch full-length movie trailers, read fan ratings and locate nearby theaters via geolocation.

Fandango has been boosting efforts to become a one-stop app for film content and entertainment services with a new innovation lab focused on ways to link viewers to film screens at theater locations (see story).

The marketer is also expanding its digital presence and bringing one of Brazil’s largest online movie ticketing services to its mobile application to gain greater traction within the Latin America film market (see story).

“With Disney Movie Rewards members being able to benefit from using Fandango, this is another avenue for Disney to keep the brand in front of the consumer and offer more integration entry points to service the brand-consumer relationship,” Ms. Troutman said.

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York