Justine Melman

Justine Melman on the in-theater activation and influencer programs behind Cineplex Entertainment’s #FanScreen

Most brand studios on social media are talking about movies before they come out.

And once the film actually opens in theaters, they're usually done talking about it — they've already moved on to the next movie that hasn't yet been released. Justine Melman, SocialMedia.org member and Cineplex Entertainment's Executive Director of Digital Strategy, sees this as a unique opportunity. That's why her team created the #FanScreen program to talk about the title once people are actually watching it.

#FanScreen is Cineplex Entertainment's campaign to put fans at the center of the conversation about movies.

Cineplex Instagram

With four community managers and a social analyst, Justine's team works to get moviegoers talking with “calls to create.” These calls to action encourage fans to make a video, take a photo, or write a post about a movie. They can include prompts like recreating an a cappella version of a song for Pitch Perfect or “worst date” stories for Amy Schumer's Trainwreck.

Cineplex Instagram

To come up with them, Cineplex's social center of excellence partners with the editorial team to research the fan community and write ideas to pitch to the theater for each title. But getting the fan to participate is the most important part.

“We can come up with all of these great ideas, but if people don't respond to it, we certainly don't have the right content to use,” Justine says.

One way they're getting fans involved is with in-store activation.

Cineplex Instagram

Right now, Justine's team is beta testing a #FanScreen booth inside a Cineplex theater lobby. Inside the booth, moviegoers are given a couple of options based on what movies are playing. Then they're prompted to choose either a photo or video and given a “call to create.” Once they're done, the photos and videos are emailed or texted to the customer, and Justine's team gets a copy, too.

They're looking to get more booths in Cineplex theaters across Canada to catch customers in the moment, while the movie is still fresh in their minds. Here's a photo of a prototype from their Content Director, Andrew Yates:

Andrew Yates' Instagram

They also look to social media influencers to entice millennials to get involved.

We encourage [our influencers] to be really creative with the content of their own videos.

Using an agency, Justine's team took an extensive look at the landscape to pick influencers in the Canadian movie and pop culture space. They wanted influencers who would be the most relevant to their audience and could inspire the content they wanted to create. But they didn't necessarily have to be movie buffs.

“Some are more focused on movies, but more of them are general millennial pop culture creators. We go for a tone of voice that's lighthearted, a bit quirky, but also passionate and creative,” she explains.

They also try to reach the largest audiences possible across as many channels as possible. That means Cineplex has influencers putting out calls to create across big creator platforms like YouTube, Vine, and Instagram, and Facebook and Twitter to a lesser degree.

“We wanted influencers who have an authentic voice in this space,” says Justine.

So when it comes to briefing the creators, Justine's team simply gives them the “call to create” they want issued to their audience. How they communicate that is up to them.

“We encourage them be really creative with the content of their own videos,” Justine says.

For example, with the recent Jurassic World movie, the call to create asked fans to share what they liked about the previous Jurassic Park movies. And to introduce it, their Vine influencer, Matthew Paquette made this:

Matthew Paquette vine

“You have to understand where you can have a unique voice in the conversation.”

Justine says she's looking forward to refining their strategy to get more audiences engaged. They want to add more to the conversations already happening and give their fans content to run with and make their own.

“We're always looking for ways to say something differently. You have to be unique to your brand so that people will start to recognize what you're trying to do and want to be part of that conversation too.”

Follow Justine on Twitter, and ask about her favorite thing to do in Toronto.