Companies

Big Cinemas wooing the audience beyond movies

Amrita Nair Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on April 28, 2014 Published on April 28, 2014

The theatre chain’s unconventional marketing has increased revenues





From ovulation kits to wireless gaming zones, to supermarkets, and a FIFA-certified grass field, Big Cinemas, a division of Reliance MediaWorks, is attempting every trick in the book to ensure that patrons spend longer hours at its theatres.

Apart from screening the latest Bollywood flick, the theatre chain, which boasts of over 260 screens across 77 cities and towns in India, is eager to channelise unconventional media.

“We are trying to create destinations beyond movies. We are looking at a captive audience in theatres, unlike malls where people stroll through. Our innovations on advertising and experiential marketing have ensured an additional 20 per cent growth year on year to the cinema pie,” said Shirish Srivastava, Head, Marketing and Sales, Big Cinemas, told Business Line.

The theatre chain has been able to constantly increase revenue through the adoption of unconventional marketing opportunities, without adding screens. Revenues have jumped from ₹19 crore in FY 11-12, to ₹30 crore in FY 12-13, and ₹43 crore in FY 13-14. Speaking to Business Line, Srivastava said the potential is still untapped.

Apart from the usual popcorn and samosas at the movies, patrons can enjoy Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) inside the premises, with certain theatres also offering fine dining experiences while watching a movie.

Washrooms not spared

Even the washrooms have not been left out. Among its many marketing ventures, Big Cinema has tied up with i-Sure from Piramal Healthcare, to educate women in the theatres’ washroom about kits available for contraception, ovulation and pregnancy and assorted sanitary protection, while at the men’s washroom, cinemagoers get a chance to experience a deodorant from the ITC stable, as well as flyers on underwear from Macroman and Rupa.

Big Cinemas also teamed up with Maniyar Market in Aurangabad, a multi-brand retail store, and launched a 7,730 sq ft supermarket inside Big Cinemas, and QSRs catering to the local flavour needs of Aurangabad.

In a recent association with Futsal Sporting Venture Association, Big Cinemas at Imax, a theatre in Wadala, a Mumbai suburb, launched the first-of-its-kind rooftop football field.

Football field

The rooftop is FIFA certified at the 20,000 sq ft theatre, and is a floodlit, synthetic grass field. “Since we have the space inside, we can provide multiple options. For instance at the Imax theatre, we now have training camps so that children can participate in their summer vacation,” he added.

This would not be restricted to the metros. “We are eager to roll out similar experimental marketing avenues in tier II and III towns,” said Srivastava, who has utilised market data and consumer insights to build brand salience and loyalty in the highly competitive film retail business.

“We have just signed up with the Chhota Bheem franchise, and will soon roll out small retail outlets in our cinemas where people can buy the merchandise. We are opening the first nine stores in the next two months, in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi NCR, and Ahmedabad, among other cities,” said Srivastava.

From retailing Hindustan Unilever’s Magnum ice cream with additional sprinklings, to imitation jewellery outlets, to Sony Playstation gaming zones, to snaring bookworms with Crossword outlets, Big Cinema is looking to capitalise on its 1,20,000 sq ft area available at its theatres.

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Published on April 28, 2014
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