The Indian unit of Chicago-based Groupon, a leading website for diverse deals, has planned a countrywide marketing initiative around blockbuster movies.
To begin with, Crazeal (Groupon’s Indian arm) is cashing on The Amazing Spider-Man, the Hollywood movie that hit the screens on Friday. The next stop would be Warner Brothers’ The Dark Knight Rises. “It’s a long-term initiative for the company towards experiential marketing,” Sachin Kapur, chief marketing officer (CMO), told Business Standard.
Experiential marketing is also called engagement marketing or event marketing. It is defined as a strategy that tries to directly engage consumers, encouraging them to participate in the evolution of a brand. Rather than looking at consumers as passive receivers of messages, engagement or experiential marketers believe consumers should be actively involved in the production and co-creation of marketing programmes, developing a relationship with the brand.
The company is booking entire movie halls across cities for Crazeal users, besides offering a 50-plus per cent discount on film tickets and other attractions like raffle draws. The idea is to have on-ground interaction with users, something an online player does not get a chance to, said Kapur.
This weekend, Crazeal has booked a theatre in this city for the latest Spiderman film, in a tie-up with PVR, a multiplex chain. There will be no screening of advertisements by other brands before the film or during the interval. It’s planning to go to either Mumbai or Bangalore with a similar initiative.
Saying the company would continue with experiential marketing around movies, Kapur said the deal site was expected to go national across nine cities for the next big release, The Dark Knight Rises, a Batman movie. The film is releasing on July 20. “We will go with it wherever we have a presence,” he said.
Although many companies have done experiential marketing around movies, this is perhaps the first significant initiative around films from a player in the online space. “E-commerce companies have offered deals and discounts on films, but this is a unique case where the entire theatre is being booked for Crazeal users,” said Kapur.
The company refused to talk about the cost involved, just saying “We have to pay the branding cost”. While online marketing campaigns are the bread and butter for a company like Crazeal, it has also started streaming audio-visuals in theatres and on its YouTube channel. As for having advertisements on TV, Kapur said, “We need to reach out to the influencers first (through other platforms) before getting to the mass media.”
Groupon, in the middle of controversy and investor scrutiny in the recent past, clocked a revenue of $559.3 million in the first quarter of 2012. The company entered India under the Crazeal name since its original one had already been taken here. It says the India unit shows a 30 per cent growth rate per month since November 2011, a contrast with the fortunes of most other deal sites.