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Twentieth Century Fox heats up Ice Age ticket sales via QR code effort

Twentieth Century Fox and Movietickets.com are teaming up with Valpak to give consumers a way to purchase movie tickets for the latest Ice Age film using their smartphones.

Consumers who receive a Valpak envelope this month will find a QR code on the envelope in addition to the money-saving offers from local businesses that are typically inside. By scanning the QR code with their smartphone, users will be able to see showtimes for Ice Age: Continental Drift as well as purchase tickets from Movietickets.com.

“The QR code is an interactive tool that we think is important to use to reach even more consumers, to help engage with them, and give them something tangible,” said Chris Bilotta, director of promotions at Valpak.

“The QR code takes them directly to MovieTickets.com, where they are directed to buy tickets,” he said. “This is a way to drive true mobile commerce.

“We’ve done it before where we’ve given them several options, such as register for the contest and other options as well. But it’s best to purely focus – and this gives them the ability to buy right now on the phone – right on the spot, immediately.”

At the movies
Valpak has placed QR codes on its envelopes several times since last summer for different promotions.

A theatrical tie-in makes sense, according to the company, because the Valpak audience is 23 percent more likely to have gone to the movies in the past 30 days when compared to the average United States household.

The promotion for 20th Century Fox Ice Age: Continental Drift and MovieTickets.com is featured on over 40 million envelopes.

Ice Age: Continental Drift is the fourth installment in the Ice Age franchise and is being released in theaters today.

Envelopes were in homes May 29 through June 25.

The mobile ticket ordering initiative is part of a larger promotion put together by Valpak with 20th Century Fox and Movietickets.com for Ice Age: Continental Drift that also includes a sweepstakes which runs through July 20.

The envelope features several of the film’s well-known characters and encourages recipients to visit Valpak.com or Movietickets.com to enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win a vacation worth up to $10,000 for their family.

There are also tickets to the movie inside some of the Valpak envelopes.

The Ice Ace promotion was also on Valpak.com, the company’s social media sites and in its weekly e-mail blasts.

Bridging print, digital
As smartphone adoption grows, consumers are increasingly using their devices for everyday activities such as finding show times for a movie and purchasing tickets.

The Ice Age promotion is the latest example of how mobile is being used by film studios to drive ticket sales for movies.

For example, Paramount recently ran mobile ads on Us Magazine’s mobile site that viewers could tap on with their smartphone to find out more about the movie and order tickets (see story).

This is not the first time that 20th Century Fox has used mobile to help promote a film.

Late last year, the film studio partnered with Shazam to enable users to tag TV ads for Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked movie to access exclusive content, buy the first two Alvin and the Chipmunk movies as well as tickets to the new film (see story).

“It’s a great way to connect the print to the digital experience,” Mr. Bilotta said. “Out of all these promotions with theatrical, here is yet a new way to connect consumers and create a revenue stream for our partner.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York