Case Study: Under 25s Ticket Offer Exeter Phoenix

Summary

Exeter Phoenix identified three titles during October 2018, which the organisation believed would appeal to a younger audience. These were; SKATE KITCHEN, CLIMAX and COLUMBUS. They invested in the following added value activity and marketing strategy, allowing them to increase the impact of the £5 ticket offer.

SKATE KITCHEN - For the opening screening of Skate Kitchen they partnered with Women of the World festival and co-hosted a post screening panel discussion with three leading ladies from the world of action sports. These were; British champion surfer Sophie Hellyer, skate boarding academic Dani Abulhawa and local roller derby legend Kate Garrad. Working with WOW enabled the organisation to broaden their audience reach, share promotion and tap in to the overall 'sense of event' which Women of the World was creating. It also enforced the significance of screening an independent title written and directed by a woman about a female story.

CLIMAX - we used this title as an opportunity to test a late night screening slot by choosing to start these at 9:30pm. We played on the director's style of horror to tie these screenings in with Halloween festivities. Knowing this title was an 18 certificate, and by tapping in to elements of the film, we promoted the screenings alongside free sangria, which was served from the bar before the film. We also made contact with Vice magazine, co-producers of the film, and secured a handful of free limited edition Vice summer editions, to give away to audiences. The aim of this was to show our audiences we are connected to youthful, edgy and aspirational communities such as Vice.

COLUMBUS - these screenings were much more organic but the support enabled us to take a risk and screen a title which we believed to be of significant value to our audience and which we felt passionate about sharing on the big screen.

Project aims

  • The aim of this project was to analyse the way Exeter Phoenix communicates with Under 25s and to identify ways to develop a sustainable under 25s offer which would help to develop this audience. 

Headlines

  • 44% of total audience for these films were under 25s

  • 100% of those who feedback rated the enhanced activity as 'Very Good' or 'Good'

  • 41% of total audience were new to the venue

  • A simple and effective formula was developed to reach under 25s

  • Under 25s offer has continued to prove popular 6 months on

Films

Skate Kitchen (2018) Dir. Crystal Morelle
Colombus (2018) Dir. Kogonada
Climax (2018) Dir. Gaspar Noé

Key partnerships

- WOW Exeter (Women of the World Festival) - this took place in October. Skate Kitchen screening was branded as a WOW Exeter event, enabling Exeter Phoenix to tap in to their marketing and promotion and build confidence with a new audience early on.

- VICE MAG - Provided the venue with give aways for the Climax Audience.

- University of Exeter Student Accommodation - helped deter Phoenix reach out to audiences through a new avenue.

- Exeter Cavern - local indie club cross promoted and provided offers for the audience to attend Cavern after party. This boosted the credentials as a go-to venue.

Budget in brief

£107 – Under 25s Flyer
£150 – social media ads
£30 – additional distribution of flyers.
£40 – Marketing support time.
£258 – speakers fees and expenses.
£100 – Project management
Total - £685

Subsidy per head = £3.00

What worked

  • 44% of the audience were under 25 - this is better than the organisation could have expected.

  • Proven that a later screening slot works for our audience. This is something the venue have continued to build on.

  • Developing a formula they can refer to when reaching out to under 25s.

  • Built a stronger presence on Instagram.

  • Developed more confidence in screening films with greater young person appeal, which has given Exeter Phoenix a push to continue with this kind of programming.

What has been difficult

  • Encouraging a consistent, venue-wide young persons offer and making sure under 25s are represented and feel welcome across all areas when visiting Exeter Phoenix.

  • Balancing risk taking with sensible, profitable choices. Eg. EIGHTH GRADE Vs RED JOAN

  • Sustaining visibility of Under 25s offer and keeping the incentives alive

What you would do differently if you did it again

  • Consider working with Young Programers to build a selection of titles that Exeter Phoenix know will appeal. Allow budget and time to do this.

  • Identify better ways to include all Exeter Phoenix activity so the young persons offer is consistent allowing for a better over all experience to young visitors.

  • Invest more in outreach and engagement by taking time to identify harder to reach young people from diverse backgrounds.

Awareness / Attitudes

The titles Exeter Phoenix chose to highlight as part of the Under 25s ticket offer represented a broad range of storytelling. From female skate gangs to demonic dancers the films they selected offered audiences new experiences. Focusing on Skate Kitchen, female story telling was put at the forefront. The film, written, directed and staring female leads enabled us to build a discussion around female sports personalities and Exeter Phoenix’s carefully crafted panel were able to share their experiences of being a female in a male dominated landscape. Audiences went away having had the opportunity consider these experiences and how they have effected the development of the panels career. We heard about the expectations of female surfers modelling swimwear, bullying among female roller derby and how the Skatestan charity are working to enable young girls to develop new skills on the ramp, in turn changing cultural expectations in their community.


“A good Q&A – an interesting insight into the world of women and action sports” – audience feedback

Diversity

It was important to us that the titles we chose promoted diversity on screen. With a rich and varied collection of actors the films explored a range of representation and stories.

Off screen, the project was committed to ensuring high quality cultural experiences were available to all and encouraged Exeter Phoenix to sustain an affordable ticket offer well after the project was completed. In turn this enabled Exeter Phoenix to broaden in audience reach.

What audiences said

  • “Thoughtfully prepared event. Comfortable and welcoming” (Climax)

  • “I need to go home and watch something wholesome” (Climax

  • “Best Cinema in Devon” (Climax)

  • “Panel – very good. Right questions and length” (Skate Kitchen)

  • “A good Q&A – an interesting insight into the world of women and action sports” (Skate Kitchen)

  • “Very well led with everyone having a chance to contribute” (Skate Kitchen)