Movie theatres face serious challenges filling seats as they compete with more convenient and economical sources of entertainment. There’s no denying that it’s more convenient to stay at home and watch Netflix in your pajamas and chill than to go out to the theatres. It’s also much cheaper to wait and rent a new release on Red Box than to see a movie in the theatres. Movie theatres can’t compete with convenience and price, and must find other ways to appeal to the college crowd and increase movie theatre attendance.
The college demographic (18-24 year olds) is one of the most important demographics for film studios and movie theatres. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, in 2014, 18-24 year olds represent[ed] 10% of the population, but 13% of moviegoers and 16% of tickets sold. In 2015, the 18-24 age group also oversampled for tickets sold (14%) relative to their share of the population (10%). However, this coveted demographic is abandoning movies faster than any other age group.
So, how can film studios keep the interest of going to movies alive for 18-24 year olds? Below are some advice for film studios wanting to reach and engage the lucrative college market.
2 Ways to Increase Movie Ticket Sales with College Advertising
1. Utilize On Campus Movie Screenings to Build Excitement
Campus movie screenings are a great way to get students excited and talking about an upcoming movie. Film sequels or franchises, can host the original film or the latest one in the franchise at select campus movie theaters across the nation in the weeks leading up to the new movie’s theatrical release. Before and after the screening, make announcements about the upcoming movie, show trailers, and pass out fun promotional items to students, along with important movie information about release dates, theatre locations, and showtimes. This will help build anticipation among students and increase opening weekend ticket sales.
2. Create Conversations on Social Media
Social media opens the door of communication between studios and customers, and helps studios have meaningful interactions and conversations with fans. It’s important to have a social media marketing strategy that gets people involved and excited about the upcoming release. Co-creation is a great way to do this, as it allows consumers to voice their opinions in creative ways and makes them feel part of the brand experience. If you can emotionally connect with people on social media and get them invested in your film, they will be way more likely to see it in theatres. Another route to consider, in addition to your regular social media efforts, is having student influencers promote your movie on their social accounts. Just make sure to find genuine fans and allow them to write about your movie using their own style and voice.