Fandango, Pointroll Deal Is Just the Ticket

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The recent partnership between online rich media advertising platform Pointroll and Internet ticket agency Fandango could change the way consumers go to the movies.

Rather than see a preview and independently research movie schedules, users can view an online promotion and immediately proceed to local listings and buy tickets courtesy of Fandango within the original ad space.

Via this option, cinemas and studios not only increase awareness and ticket pre-sales for a film but also capture data immediately that could influence future promotions and screening details.

"Instead of having users click through to a company's Web site, we've been about bringing the advertiser's Web site to the user," said Chris Saridakis, CEO of Pointroll, Conshohocken, PA. "Why not bring in the Web site where users buy movie tickets?"

Fandango had the technology and reach Pointroll  was seeking in a strategic partner, Mr. Saridakis said. The site at http://www.fandango.com/ sells tickets for 1,100 theaters nationwide with partners including Regal Cinemas, Loews Cineplex Entertainment, Flagship Theatres and Wehrenberg Theatres.

Mr. Saridakas attributes 30 percent of Pointroll's current revenue to Hollywood studios. The partnership with Fandango, Los Angeles, will strengthen Pointroll's service offering to studios like 20th Century Fox, Columbia TriStar, DreamWorks, Paramount, Sony and MGM.

Internet movie ads should go beyond the trailer you'd see in a theater, he said. By including interactive features like game components, unique footage, screensaver downloads or calendar reminders, film studios can further engage users who rolled over their ads.

"The biggest benefit is not only making people aware of the movie but making them aware of where to buy tickets to the movie," he said. "The awareness coupled with the commitment to buy is a perfect match when it comes to direct marketing."
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