Cineplex rolls out Scene Gold paid loyalty tier

Currently available in Edmonton, the pilot is enticing its membership base with ways to earn faster points and get upgrades.
Scene Gold

Cineplex is testing Scene Gold, a rewards-based paid loyalty program in Alberta.

The Scene loyalty program has added this paid tier to offer additional benefits, such as complimentary points for each month of the membership, priority service through concession lines, upgrades to an enhanced movie experience (like 3D, UltraAVX and IMAX), movies on Wednesday for half of the regular amount of Scene points and free popcorn and drink upgrades. The pilot program has been developed in partnership with Bond Brand Loyalty.

“One of the things our members told us was that they love their Scene points and are looking for ways to earn it quickly,” says Matthew Seagrim, managing director at Scene, noting that the program is set up for users to be able to earn 50% more points everywhere Scene is accepted such as Cineplex theatres and VIP rooms, Rec Room arcades and Cara-owned restaurants. “The mandate is to build an engaged membership base and offer an upgraded experience.” He adds that the new tier will not replace the original program, and is meant “to build on top” of its previous success.

Scene Gold is being piloted across six movie theatres and two Rec Rooms in Edmonton at a cost of $6.99 per month. Seagrim says the pilot was launched in Edmonton because of the market’s previous performance – Cineplex’s Rec Room was also piloted there in 2016 – and an active customer base of 300,000.

Other ways Cineplex has been experimenting with Scene include increasing the number of points customers could earn on premium movie ticket in 2015. “We’ve been thinking of a number of ways to reward our most enthusiastic customers over the past few years,” says Seagrim. The brand felt that offering an “upgraded experience” through a paid tier would help build on the popularity of its loyalty program.

Scott Robinson, VP design & strategy at Bond Brand Loyalty says that its research showed a quarter of existing members at Cineplex willing to pay a fee for enhanced benefits . The customer engagement agency found a high number of millennials, even those with less disposable income having an appetite for such a tier.

“Scene in the Canadian loyalty landscape has been a top performer in our study (the Loyalty Report) year-over-year,” says Robinson. The paid loyalty tier at Scene comes at a time when “the brand is surpassing nine million members and wants to continue offering a fresh value proposition to specific cohorts of its customer base.”

The trend around introducing a paid tier is gaining more attention in the loyalty landscape lately because it provides a chance for brands to retain best customers and generate revenue for the program to supplement its operating budget, says Robinson.

The loyalty program is a 50-50 venture with Scotiabank, which has also worked as a partner to market the Gold pilot program. Scene will be promoting the program through email marketing and on its big screens in theatres. The brand worked Elemental for producing creative for the launch of the pilot. “We are going to run the pilot for a couple of months, and collect feedback till early 2019,” says Seagrim. “Depending on how members respond, we will make further decisions about the roll out.”