Most of us have faced it at some time or the other - the endless wait for the release of a much talked about movie, the anticipation on its release, and the final dampener at the ticket counter on the release weekend, when one realises that all tickets are sold out. Entertainment ticketing portal Bookmyshow.com has launched its first full-fledged campaign that captures this plight of movie goers.
Three films comprise the campaign created and executed by Lowe Lintas, which came on board three months ago. Taking inspiration from its core business - movie tickets - the stories in the three films project varied film genres like suspense, tragedy and love triangle. While the campaign hit cinema halls in mid-November, the first ad film will be aired on television by the end of this week or early next week.
The television campaign will be extended to the online medium, especially focused on mobile usage of Bookmyshow's apps. While the television campaign will be around for five to six weeks, the cinema leg of the campaign will run for about double that time.
On digital, Bookmyshow intends to keep alive the campaign for two-three months. The TVCs will be dubbed in five languages - Kannada, Bengali, Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil.
Bookmyshow began its operations in 2007. What took it six years to launch the first ATL campaign? Marzdi Kalianiwala, head, business intelligence, Bookmyshow.com, explains that there are multiple reasons for coming out with a television campaign now.
Currently, Bookmyshow has about 5.5-6 million customers and sells 3.5-4 million tickets a month. The website's target audience is males in the age group of 18-35 years, who form 75-80 per cent of its ticket buying audience. Interestingly, Bookmyshow also attracts 15-20 million viewers, who essentially browse through the site for show timings or read reviews or summaries of events.
Although the website dominates the online movie ticketing market, it obviously needed to expand its e-commerce transaction customer base.
Kalianiwala adds that in the movie ticketing space, Bookmyshow's biggest competition is the box office. While the website records millions of visitors, only 10 per cent actually get down to transacting on the site. People still prefer going personally to movie theatres to buy tickets. Kalianiwala hopes that the campaign will, therefore, help in communicating features and help in converting its 90 per cent captive audience.
"The idea is to break the habit of the customers. Change the mindset. Many people don't know that we offer deals, the option of choosing seats or booking at the last minute. We have changed a lot in the technology and backend side to facilitate these," he further adds, explaining that customers can buy a movie ticket 15 minutes before the show on the website.
The campaign was required to communicate all these to a large customer base quickly, instead of looking at 20-30 per cent organic growth, he divulges. "The plan of this marketing campaign is to educate people as to why Bookmyshow is a better alternative to box office, especially in the multiplex market and the top 10 cities," Kalianiwala reveals.
The campaign has taken a problem-solution approach by identifying the pain points of people currently booking at the box office, including standing in queues, not knowing whether tickets are available, last minute bookings and so on. The ad films, which have taken three specific problems to start with, show how Bookmyshow solves each of these problems. "The ads are designed in the genre of films and have a Bollywood flavour," Kalianiwala states.
Expansion and challenges
Another purpose of the television campaign is to create brand awareness in Tier II and III cities, where Bookmyshow intends to foray soon. "We have identified 25-30 Tier II and III cities, where we plan to grow next. These are single screen markets. Bigger challenge is also brand awareness. So, we may not be as ubiquitous in smaller towns as compared to bigger cities and metros. Again, ATL helps in gaining awareness, which we achieve in 5-7 years in a Mumbai, Bangalore or Delhi," he says.
Simultaneously, Bookmyshow is also looking at increasing its inventory base in these cities by partnering with single screen theatres in the coming 18-20 months. The website already has grown tremendously over the last two to three years and has a sizeable base by capturing almost 95 per cent of multiplex capacity. While it has tie-ups with 300-400 single screen theatres now, it is looking at growing it to 2000 in the coming two years.
Unlike the top 10 cities, which bring in 85 per cent of revenue for the website, 28-30 per cent of the transactions happen through mobiles. Kalianiwala says Bookmyshow's mobile product is No. 1 in the market as per a recent Google-Neilson survey. It receives close to four million downloads and sells one million tickets. "So, we have 28-30 per cent of penetration, that is, close to 30 per cent of our transactions happen through mobile," he divulges.
In fact, the company is heavily focusing on promoting itself through mobile in smaller cities because while not everyone has a personal computer, they have mobiles with data connection.
Kalianiwala believes that in the coming 18 months, mobile transactions will contribute nearly half of Bookmyshow's revenues. Giving it a further thrust, the company will come out with new apps for iPhone and Android platforms.
Although movie tickets contribute 70 per cent of the company's collections, Bookmyshow also has formidable presence in events, shows and sports, which contribute the remaining 30 per cent.
Kalianiwala also reveals that EDM as a genre is showing significant growth. In fact, there is a noticeable willingness among consumers to pay and experience shows that are priced high. Also, many niche events have partnered with Bookmyshow, including a yoga festival in Goa and complete turnkey events in sports and FNB.