CineMedia targets churches for private movie screenings

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National CineMedia's CineMeetings, the marketing arm of AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark USA Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group, is using e-mail and direct mail to promote private event screenings in churches of the New Line Cinema film "The Nativity Story."

CineMedia handled the creative aspect of the e-mail and worked with the Outreach Media Group and the Salem Network who sent e-mail invitations to Sermon Central and Sermon Search's 40,000 subscribers. The e-mails were sent to pastors and church leaders, who are part of the e-mail list that the church outreach organizations maintain.

"We have relationships with a variety of church outreach organizations that have access to a pastor's subscriber base, having worked together in the past to promote theater space for church services, as well as host movie screenings, including The Chronicles of Narnia," said Shelley Kapitulik, spokesperson for CineMedia, New York.

Internal marketing outreach for the campaign included an e-mail invitation to a church marketing list targeting over 1,200 subscribers; a banner ad promoting the event on which sees about 13,300 hits per month; and an electronic flyer sales tool. In addition, a custom Web site offering access to downloadable movie materials, a sermon guide; and a discount off "The Nativity Story" merchandise at Family Christian Book Stores were also used to promote the project.

So far the campaign has resulted in 114 movie theater private screenings with 33,000 seats held by religious organizations.

NCM's CineMeetings and Events division offers over 1,200 AMC, Cinemark, Regal Cinemas, United Artists and Edwards movie theatre locations nationwide for a wide range of meetings and corporate events, including sales meetings, product launches, training sessions, private screenings and employee/client appreciation events.

CineMeetings clients range from Fortune 500 companies to local businesses, including Microsoft Corp., APC, Bayer HealthCare, Burger King Corp., Con-Way, Juniper Networks, and Papa John s International Inc.

E-mail is often a communications tool of choices to promote its events.

"Email worked really well for us," Ms. Kapitulik said. "It was a great way to reach the pastors and church leaders both quickly and individually. The quick turnaround time of e-mail also gave them longer lead time to plan for our events."

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