Reaching Cinemagoers

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Reaching Cinemagoers — Palace Cinemas: Lavazza Italian Film Festival Michael Valos, Deakin University
While cinemas are an advertising channel that organisations use to reach audiences, cinemas also need to use a mix of advertising and promotional tools in their own marketing, and this is something Palace Cinemas knows very well. The Lavazza Italian Film Festival runs across seven of Australia’s main cities for 24 days and is Palace’s largest and most important film festival, The event starts with an opening night gala and film screening, and during its time, there are multiple special events including a festival centrepiece, presentations, Q&As with filmmakers, world premiere screenings and a closing night party. There are often ‘by-popular-demand’ screenings in the weeks following the festival’s official closure, and in 2016 there was, for the first time, a sponsored People’s Choice Award. In order to develop a media plan for the Lavazza festival market, segmentation is required. We asked Caroline Whiteway, National Marketing and Publicity Manager of Palace Cinemas how they segment the market? What sort of customers typically attend the festival in terms of demographic and psychographic characteristics? In terms of demographic characteristics, she said ‘We saw two distinct customer segments who attended the 2016 Lavazza Italian Film Festival: (1) students and early life stage who are 18-25-year-olds, educated and inner-city dwellers, and (2) adults through to baby boomers who are 45-71-years-old, well-educated professionals with a high disposable income: We then asked Caroline what other
characteristics can be used to described these two segments in terms of behaviours and psychographics. She replied ‘Both segments are discerning, independent and sophisticated. They are leaders rather than followers, are confident in their own tastes, and while the younger demographic tends to act more spontaneously according to their mood, the mature ones are more likely to be planners. Both are adventurous when it comes to their arts and cultural consumption: The two core objectives of the festival are, firstly, to drive admissions to the event and connect audiences with the best of classic and contemporary Italian cinema, and secondly, to add value to the festival’s sponsors, such as Lavazza, Fiat, Peroni, Levante and Celebrity Cruises. However, all marketing campaigns have challenges or barriers to overcome, and this festival is no different. Awareness is the primary hurdle, as in a competitive arts events landscape and the over-connected digital age, it is challenging to get the messaging and call to action to cut through. With ticket prices being reasonably low, especially when
0 Michael Valos, Deakin University

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