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Regal Entertainment Group fetes app downloads through summer campaign

Regal Entertainment Group is celebrating its one millionth application download this summer with a few in-theater marketing initiatives to spur engagement for moviegoers.

The movie theater chain recently revamped its mobile app with new features that incorporate a loyalty program and second-screen experiences and is now showing them off through a marketing campaign. The Regal Entertainment Group app is available for iPhone and Android devices.

“Brands should be utilizing all of their available touch points, and it is something that brands still have not gotten used to,” said Eric Mugnier, U.S. senior vice president at M&C Saatchi Mobile, New York.

“Mobile advertising is a crucial part of the marketing mix to drive app downloads, but brands should also look at leveraging their own channels, especially retail and point-of-sale,” he said.

“It makes perfect sense for the movie theater to use their own real estate as a marketing channel, and if they can drive downloads with compelling messages then why not?”

Mr. Mugnier is not affiliated with Regal Entertainment Group. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Regal Entertainment Group did not respond to press inquiries.

Regal Entertainment Group operates 7,343 screens in 577 theaters across 42 states in the United States as well as locations in Guam, Saipan and American Samoa.

Summer sizzle
To build awareness of the app this summer, Regal Entertainment Group is running in-theater promotions that tie in with the company’s partnership with NCM Media Networks and Regal’s pre-show FirstLook programming.

To use the feature, consumers have to download a separate app called FirstLook Sync from Apple’s App Store or Google Play in addition to Regal Entertainment Group’s app.

Consumers who buy a ticket to Universal Pictures’ upcoming film “Despicable Me 2” through the app are entered to win a free tablet. Five winners will be chosen, and Despicable Me 2 is now playing nationwide in theaters.

Additionally, consumers that use the Regal Entertainment Group app to sync with the FirstLook program before a film begins can download the Despicable Me: Minion Rush mobile game for iPhone and Android devices.

Movie attendees will also score exclusive game tips for the Despicable Me 2 game before the film begins.

Regal is additionally running an in-app sweepstakes to give users the chance to win movie tickets, a Microsoft Xbox game console or the grand prize of $10,000. The sweepstakes runs through July 25.

Summer of mobile

Past efforts
Regal Entertainment Group initially launched its mobile app in March 2012 to let consumers quickly buy movie tickets while on the go (see story).

Earlier this year, the brand revamped its Android and iPhone applications with second-screen experiences and a loyalty program component that lets consumers store their Regal Crown Club cards.

Consumers who store their loyalty cards within their phones can redeem their rewards via an in-app QR code that is scanned by employees at the theater (see story).

Loyalty plays a strong role for movie theaters in driving repeat traffic, and marketers can expect to see more theater chains focus on loyalty in their mobile efforts going forward, according to Mr. Krause.

“Leveraging the in-theater experience is one of the smartest strategies one can have in order to capture app downloads,” said Mitchel Krause, CEO of MyEchain, Cuppertino, CA. “You have a captive audience of which the vast majority are already using smartphones for everything from shopping to digital wallets and loyalty applications and to pricing guides, address books and date books.

“More often than not, consumers have their smartphones with them where ever they go,” he said. “Though, merely having an app does the theater no good unless they teach their employees to promote the plan and be able to quickly and efficiently explain the benefits to the theatergoer.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York