CJ @ CineEurope 2016: Coca-Cola Seminar – Rebels With a Cause

By | July 6, 2016 12:01 am PDT

This is a live transcript of one of the many seminars and presentations at CineEurope 2016. As such it is likely to contain errors and omissions that are more likely than not the fault of the transcriber (yours truly) than the speakers. Sometimes we condense or abbreviate points being made. The text may sometimes not make complete sense as it was made to be heard rather than read. But every effort has been made to present what was said as accurately as possible. 


Trying to transcribe and capture the Coca-Cola seminars at CineEurope is a bit like describing a cold Coke to a thirsty person – yes, they might get a good idea of what it is, but it does not even begin to approximate the experience itself. As always, the Coca-Cola sessions are fast paced, with lots of visuals, different speakers who all have valuable insights (often communicated very fast), all of which are very difficult to convey in written form.

As such this text should not be seen as a transcription or even summary of the session, but more of an aide-memoire and personal notes, both of what was said and what was displayed on the screens.  If you did not attend and this does not make sense, then we can only apologise – but you should really try to attend this in person, if possible.

Corinne Thibaut – the Coca-Cola Company

James Dean – milestone.

“2015 has been a fantastic year, but we cannot be complacent and we must keep recruiting next generation of cinema goers.”

Javier Sanchez Lamelas. ‘Sell more stuff to more people, more often for more money.’

Recruitment – Frequency – Retention

“Recruitment is the most important strategy and we have to keep recruiting next generation. It is more expensive, but it is the most important strategy for long term. When your consumer base gets older it starts shrinking.”

Javier said, “talk to the right people”. Levi’s [jeans] example of not talking to right people, as they had not talked to the new generation, [thus] seen as “Dad’s jeans”.

“In Europe the population is aging. They have time, health and disposable income. They bring with them the habit of going to the movies. Historically young audiences have delivered the strongest attendance and over performed at cinema. Recently we have heard about lower youth attendance. Not easy to verify as each country uses different methodology and data sets. We see a few worrying facts.”

In US number of movies seen by 12-24 year old [declined].

France – biggest age group are 60+ – represent 24% [of cinema audience] while represent 20% of population.

Frequency dropping  across age group of 15-19 and 20-24.

UK share of 15-24 year old cinema goers dropped from 43% in 1997 to 25% in 2012. Norway halved 16-19 year olds visiting cinema in the last 20 years.

Today we are launching the UNIC survey.

Insights about Teens.

Insight about Teens in cinemas.

Coke’s strategy towards teens.

Jan Runge – UNIC survey

UNIC survey – responses from 35 territories. 55% cinema operators,

10 years up to 2014 52% decrease. In 2015 35% said increase.

If you have the right films and take the right approach you can lure people back to cinema.

79% – teen audiences are key target group;

78% – they have to do more, and more difficult to attract youth;

65% – have targeted activities for this audience group, whether games or teen screen;

82% – industry needs to do things differently to attract 12-25 year olds;

There are initiatives like the UK and France schemes, the Big Screen and €4 und 14.

UNIC launched pan-European research project on cinema going preferences among youth audiences.

Supported [funded] by Coca-Cola, UKCA and German cinema fund.

Will share findings when completed.

Corinne Thibaut (again):

RECRUITING – the next generation

Food (McDonalds) and Lodging

McDonalds – basic needs of teens. Affordable offers (€1 menu) and wifi. “Without it they don’t survive.”

Convenience and Service – self service kiosks. New front counters and service platforms.

“A full experience. They have invested a lot in design. They have converted their restaurants where you will want to hang out. That way you drive traffic – and revenue.”

“Lodging. Those guys are in trouble. Air BnB – offers affordable and memorable experiences. Appeals to the next generation of travellers. They sell 1 million [lodging] nights per day.”

They [traditional hotels] react by launching new brands that appeal to young travellers.

Satisfy millennial needs: digital convenience (check in with your smartphone).

You don’t need key, order with your smartphone. Order room service with phone.

High tech rooms. Teens do not need space or luxury. They need circuits to charge devices, a big screen television and they want high tech things like lighting.

Finally service, where you have personal interaction with young staff. Bar open 24 hours. Communal area, which looks like fantastic.

Connected, Convenient, Contextual.

“Nightclubs have fallen out of fashion. So much so that they are not statistically significant by the ONS [UK’s Office of National Statistics – which measures cost of popular goods and services]. People [instead] go to bars, where they can drink and dance.”

Insights about teens.

“We have to come up with connected solutions.”

Krista Webb Carney, Head of Coca-Cola Design

I live in Hilversum and JT Bioscopy is one of the most technologically advanced cinemas in Europe.  I’m from Atlanta and grew up there. Coca-Cola is in my blood. I worked in design, refrigeration equipment.

Experiences is crucial.

They [Millennials] are not about material wealth, they are not about acquiring things.

They build personal relationships and identities differently.

65% of teens will hold jobs that don’t yet exist.

We are living in exponential times.

What makes teen tick? In a connected world, forging an identity is more complex. They may have several identities that you as parents or their friends don’t know.

This is a cause-driven generation. They want to participate in what is happening in the world .

Personalise teens’ drink experience with their own drink combination.

Snapchat means you don’t need to have the digital footprint that teens fear (for when they one day get a job).

Play is a constant.

Global yet hyperlocal

Red Lobster took 24 hours to respond to Beyonce [comment about them in song].

Honest and Discovery. Coolness is a byproduct of authenticity.

As Coke we have authenticity at our core.

Tillman RothbergGfK – Insights on Teens in Cinema

In Germany – frequency and reach has declined for teen audiences.

What can cinemas do to re-engage with teen audiences?

Reduce price! Always an option, but there are alternatives.

Willingness to spend money on leisure activities – as long as it offers value for money and meets related needs. Look at gaming industry [where games cost €40 or more].

Cinema needs to pay into 2 key needs – Relaxation + Socialising & Fun.

Socialising & Fun – other activities are doing it better (home cinema, gaming and TV series).

Beware the ‘Sofa Trap.’ They come home and are exhausted and just sink into the sofa.

Tackle ‘tipping points’. Better integration into social life. Tie it to activities throughout day. Grab people to activate them.

Personalisation – Young audiences don’t want one directional communication. They want to talk back. Personal DIGITAL experience.

Loyalty Cards with statuses all the way up to Director Club.

Entertainment & Reward. “Do something good for yourself.”

Teens and Tweens / After Work / My First Cinema Visit

Coke’s strategy towards Teens

Social, Engaging,

Design / Content/ Permissibility / Affordability

Social media approach:

Be authentic, Value their reality,

Engage Them

Patrick von Sychowski
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Patrick von Sychowski

Patrick was a Senior Analyst at Screen Digest, went on to launch the digital cinema operations of Unique and Deluxe Europe, then digitised Bollywood at Adlabs/RMW, and now writes, consults and appears on panels about cinema all over the world.
Patrick von Sychowski
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