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Marketing The Premiere Experience

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Ramon Lamarca Marques, Brian Guckian and Mike Taylor Date: 10.03.2009
70mm (US version) "Premier Experience" concept logo

Two Aims of the 65/70mm Workshop are:

To preserve the film experience at its best, with large negative (65mm or wide horizontal 35mm) and prints on 70mm


To make possible, in a creative way, the return of the "cinema event presentation" as something unique and separate from other media

A critical requirement in this project is a relevant, effective and well thought-out marketing strategy.

In the modern era marketing has evolved into a sophisticated, semi-scientific, activity based around behavioural psychology and highly-developed data-gathering techniques. Product branding is now a stand-alone discipline and central to effective marketing.

In the context of high-quality cinema presentation using 65mm for production and 70mm for exhibition, the challenge is how to update the marketing techniques of the past for today's cinema audiences.
More in 70mm reading:

65/70mm Workshop

Internet link:
US version concept logo applied to standard quad poster (illustrative only)

Key concept elements of a modern 65/70mm marketing strategy should be:

- Quality

- Tradition

- Spectacle

- Theatricality

- Contemporary relevance

- Exclusivity

Considerable creative effort is required in terms of "positioning" the 65/70mm format in today's cinema exhibition environment as a modern, high-quality experience. However, it can be done.

One strategy is to focus on the indirect attributes of the format, rather than on its immediate technical characteristics (since in today's world "70mm" does not have the same widespread "brand recognition" that it had in the past). To this end, and for the purposes of this exercise, the brand concept of The Premiere Experience has been devised.

The word "Premiere" (or US: "Premier") connects with the key concept elements described above. It evokes images of the 100-year history of the film industry, an exclusive "red carpet" atmosphere, a high quality theatrical experience and something of quality and lasting value.

A Premiere Experience can be inserted into today's exhibition environment via a physical upgrade to the largest screen or screens in a typical cinema complex, by way of the Premiere Screen concept. This also diversifies the cinema experience, in much the same way that modern retail department stores contain discrete sub-units (the "store within a store" concept).

Premiere Screens can also be installed at dedicated single-screen cinemas or cinemas with small numbers of screens (for example 3-screen and 4-screen cinemas). Indeed it can be argued that Cinema as an artform and a craft has suffered considerably through the influence of the retail industry and that a de-coupling is desirable via a return to stand-alone cinemas with larger screens and vastly better design. This of course is dependent on a new economic model being developed that would remove the current "need" for multiple screens, run at very low profit margins.
Allied to The Premiere Experience concept are the following ideas:

1. Re-introduce Hard Tickets (tickets at higher prices than normal, with allocated seats, which must be booked in advance, but not to exceed current 3-D ticket prices)

2. Re-introduce high-quality promotional Brochures which give information on the film, and which can be purchased by the audience at the cinema as collector's items

3. Re-introduce Trailer Tags - these are special pieces of film attached to the trailer for the feature film in question and which give details of dates the film will open and where and how to book advance tickets

4. Re-introduce other Roadshow marketing techniques, including Showmanship in the style of Mike Todd, with use of curtain tabs and full stage lighting

5. Devise new promotional 65/70mm trailers which educate today's audiences regarding the craft aspects of the format, as well as its history. These could be run prior to 70mm feature presentations, in the same manner as conventional sound format trailers, and could comprise short interviews and clips. Similar material could be incorporated into trailers for 65/70mm features themselves. One excellent example is the special 70mm theatrical trailer for "Far and Away" (1992) where director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer explain the unique qualities of the 65mm format to the audience. This could be extended into a new short to promote the 70mm format, like the original "The Miracle of Todd-AO".

6. Avoidance of cheap concession foodstuffs (Cinerama Inc., for example, prohibited the selling of popcorn), and their replacement with more sophisticated products like wines and quality confectionery, as found in stage theatres. The Roadshow presentation format facilitates Intermissions that could also increase revenues from sales of such products.

The Workshop has devised a contemporary logo to support The Premiere Experience branding concept, and shows how this could be applied to a typical Quad film poster, for example. Other logo design concepts are welcomed, and will be displayed here.
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Updated 21-01-24