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DMNews spends a few minutes with Matt Gilhooley, director of online operations at Yari Film Group


Q: Can you describe your screening campaign for The Final Season?


A: It is a family baseball film about a small town Iowa high school baseball team, so we wanted to screen this film in as many places as we could, especially for youth groups and for faith-based communities. We did some church screenings all across the country to gain awareness about the picture and to spread word of mouth about the picture. Our target audience was primarily moms age 25-49 and children age 10-14.


Q: How did you work with Spongecell for online reservations?


A: We tried to bring in an RSVP technology to allow people to register for these screenings online. Spongecell gave us the opportunity to convert people who were interested in the film to signing up and registering for these screenings. All across the country screenings were very successful and we were very happy.


Q: How did you get the word out about the RSVP option?


A: We had a lot of paid online media, search, banner ads and e-mail driving to our Web site, and we also had TV advertising and theatrical film trailers running. We featured the opportunity on the front page of our Web site to sign up for local screening. We then drove traffic from the field, using our agencies all over the country that work in local markets — the URL was tagged on all of the filers that they passed out.


Q: What can you take away specifically from this campaign?


A: It was nice to see the integration that is available now, where people are so willing to use the Internet, that they are OK with signing up through a national screening process for a local event. I know there is a lot of hesitation from people saying that they don't like to register for things online and they like to keep local community events local, but we saw that we could do this on a national level, while still making it feel local, because the Spongecell allowed you to make specific pages for each local screening. Even though it was being managed on a national level, it was still an exclusive event for your small town.


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