Electronic ticketing kiosks debut

Advertisers who want to tie their event marketing efforts to the next big thing now have one more media tool at their disposal. Ticketmaster Canada, the country's largest ticketing company, has teamed up with E.Com Technologies of Newport Beach, Calif. to...

Advertisers who want to tie their event marketing efforts to the next big thing now have one more media tool at their disposal.

Ticketmaster Canada, the country’s largest ticketing company, has teamed up with E.Com Technologies of Newport Beach, Calif. to provide the first electronic ticketing kiosks in Canada.

The pair recently installed four networked kiosks in the North lobby of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC). The so-called OnRamp kiosks allow consumers to order, buy (using a credit card or debit card) and print tickets for any MTCC or Ticketmaster event across the country – avoiding the wait for mail delivery, and bypassing long lineups.

The touch screen-operated stands have also been installed in Vancouver Safeway stores and will soon be launched in Loblaws stores across Ontario, says Jon Jenett, chief operating officer of E.Com Technologies.

Equipped with high-definition televisions that project a combination of entertainment and advertising in the form of video clips, television commercials or PowerPoint-type ads, the OnRamp kiosks are generating increasing interest from advertisers, says Jenett. Each unit is addressable so, in the case of the various Loblaws locations, advertisers will be able to target their audience by postal code, he says.

At the MTCC, rates are on a cost-per-thousand basis, measured by the attendance at the MTCC shows. ‘Each person who walks by and sees the ads on the screens counts as an eyeball,’ Jenett says.

Current advertisers include TD Visa, and Vancouver-based software company NexMedia.

Consumers can also buy their tickets online at www.ticketmaster.ca and use the kiosks to print them out later. To combat fraud, the tickets are printed on proprietary Ticketmaster stock and credit card verification is done through Ticketmaster’s credit clearing service.

E.Com and Ticketmaster are also hoping to use the kiosks to offer advertisers some e-commerce options. As the partners envision it, customers would be able to purchase event paraphernalia – including hats, CDs and T-shirts – that could be shipped to the consumer by a third-party fulfillment house.

Ticketmaster Canada’s vice-president of corporate development, Tom Epplett, says there may also be opportunities for couponing.

The OnRamp kiosks have arrived in Canada just as the practice of online ticket buying is really starting to heat up. According to Forrester Research, of the three billion event tickets sold in the U.S. last year, roughly 10% were sold online.

Growth would probably be faster, but for the same old problems on the fulfillment end. Consumers have long been frustrated with having to wait for mail delivery of their tickets, and leery of the ‘will call’ alternative, whereby tickets are held at the venue for pick-up the night of the show. With that in mind, several major ticket companies are attempting to develop home-based ticket-printing systems, which rely on bar code technology.

In the U.S., Ticketmaster is reportedly in a race with Tickets.com and Montreal-based Admission Network to get the print-it-yourself ticket capability into the hands of consumers and venues.

The problem in Canada and elsewhere, according to Epplett, is that the bar code infrastructure is not yet in place – and because it’s costly, is unlikely to be in place for some time.

From Karen Howe’s dining table: Creativity, COVID and Cannes

ICYMI, The Township's founder gathers the best of the best campaigns and trends so far.

Cannes Base Camp

By Karen Howe

I’m attending Cannes from the glory of my dining room table. There’s not a palm tree in sight, yet inspiration and intel are present in abundance.

Cannes Lions is a global cultural pulse check. The social course correction in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and BLM has delivered far greater diversity in the judging panels as well as the work. And we are all better for it.

I’m proud to say that creativity defeated COVID, which speaks to its power. Great work and big ideas flourished, despite unimaginable odds.

The work from the past two years spans a vast emotional range. From the profundity of Dove’s “Courage is Beautiful” to the hyper exuberance of Burberry’s “Festive,” they are opposite ends of the spectrum, but each answered a need in us.

Take note, the ascendency of gaming cannot be understated. Smart brands have embraced the channel. It makes sense, because gamers participate to meet others around the world, not just to play. And they represent a huge and powerful community. That’s why QSR Wendy’s gamified their iconic gal in RPG’s Feast of Legends.

Burger King sponsored the unknown Stevenage Football Club, transforming the team into online heroes and vaulting BK into the fray at the same time. Once again, the brand embedded itself in culture.

The birth of gaming tourism arrived when Xbox snuggled up to travel guides and created a brilliant baby: a travel guide for gaming worlds. It, too, embedded itself in culture.

From the standpoint of social good, Reporter Without Borders showed how it worked with Mindcraft for its “Uncensored Library” to bypass press censorship, with Minecraft providing a loophole to a space where young people could be educated. It provided youth with a powerful tool to fight oppression: truth.

COVID changed us in unexpected ways. We learned how to pay attention again and there was a notable lack of 30-second commercials. Instead, longer format content thrived. Apple’s WFH was seven minutes long. Entertainment reigned king, so we find ourselves returning to our advertising roots.

Seeing competitive brands form partnerships was one of this year’s other great surprises. The brilliantly simple “Beer Cap Project” by Aguila to reduce binge-drinking saw the brand reach out to competitive beers to join in. Aguila put incentivizing (keyword: free) reminders to drink water, eat food and get home safely on its bottle caps from all sorts of fast food chains, ride-share co’s and H2O brands.

On a personal level, I’m so proud of Canada again this year. Given that it was two years of work from all over the world being judged, even making the Cannes shortlist was an accomplishment. Canada is herding in the Lions in tremendous numbers – and it’s not even over. Fingers are crossed.

KAREN-HOWE-PIC-higher-rez-300x263Karen Howe is a Canadian Cannes Advisory Board Member and founder of The Township Group