February 13, 2023
If you want people to talk about you, give them something worth discussing. If you want people to remember you, give them something worth remembering. British Showcase Cinemas managed to do just that with a simple "freebie".
How do you help your brand create memorable brand activations worth talking about and remembering?
Let's look at it from a case perspective.
When Great Britain experienced record-high temperatures in mid-July this year, redheads would be the first ones to feel it… or so was the thought behind this campaign.
As you may know, the same gene that gives redheads their gorgeous red hair also causes a low production of melanin in their skin making them more vulnerable to UV rays.
Through the thick, blurry heatwaves, the British cinema chain Showcase Cinemas saw an opportunity to attract guests on days when few people usually go to the cinemas.
By giving out free cinema tickets to redheads for two blazed days in July, the chain could offer redheads to take a break from the sun in a dark and air-conditioned cinema. The offer was released on the cinemas’ social media channels which Britains, influencers, and the media quickly picked up on.
Within a few days, the chain with its mere 16 cinemas spread across the country, was a talking point for influencers and most (if not all) national British media like LADbible, The Huffington Post, The Sun, and The Evening Standard.
The news even spilled over the British borders to national media in the US, Germany, France, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, and more.
So - in a PR and branding context - what do we learn from this?
We learn that the best results and most value is created when we, as brands, keep a keen eye on our current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats - yes the good old SWOT. When you keep in mind that the quadrants can change as fast as your current landscape and use them to create value for the target audience, that’s when magic happens.
We also learn to keep our core offering and brand story in mind. Showcase Cinemas could just as easily have offered all visitors free popsicles to cool down. I mean, it’s cheaper and less sacrificing, right? But it’s also far from what Showcase Cinema is great at. It wouldn’t make the visitor walk away with a memory of going to the cinema and so it wouldn’t create any value for the brand.
Showcase Cinemas saw an opportunity to take in more visitors on days when they usually don’t have enough turnover to make a profit. So what did they really have to lose?