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Backyard Cinema

We’re not saving lives, we’re selling cinema tickets. But damn, we sold a lot of cinema tickets.

Backyard Cinema came to us and said “sell out our Christmas event in two months with £20,000 of media budget.” As if this wasn’t enough of a task by itself, Christmas in London is an experience overload. How do you make an experience usually associated with sitting on a picnic rug in summer stand out? Challenge(s) accepted
The Strategy.
If you’re a Goliath, you can revert to shouting really loud so that everyone knows about your brand. If you’re a David, you need to be smarter. We banked on the idea that if we focused on warming up our audience before flogging them some tickets, our overall campaign costs would be lower. In order to do this, we followed 4 simple steps.
1. Generate FOMO. People don’t buy things they don’t care about. We made them care by creating FOMO.People pay more attention to something if they think that everyone else is doing so too. So, rather than solely focusing on click through rates and conversions, we worked to generate as much engagement - social proof - on our posts as quickly as possible. 14,487 reactions, 3,533 post comments, and 1,592 shares.
2. Test Audiences. Once we knew who was interested, the next step was to find out who would put their money where their like is. We ran extensive audience testing, uncovering some interesting trends that ended up saving us a shed load of cash. Although men clicked through and engaged, they never bought. So we stopped wasting our time with gents who can’t plan their social lives. We also quickly learned that this wasn’t an event for film lovers. It’s an event for event lovers. A social experience with friends. These audience insights were crucial to our targeting strategy, increasing our efficiency day by day.
3. Refine Creative. Testing and learning is crucial for David’s, when efficiency is everything. We tested 80 different audience/creative/copy variations in a very short period, before refining our execution right down to the best performing adverts. First, we hit our refined audience with a short, sharp, social-first video. This was the first thing people saw. Then, we retargeted anyone who watched over 50% of the video but didn’t click through with an immersive Canvas advert, letting them explore a little more about the event.
4. Execute. We hit them enough to cut through the clutter - 4.23 times each over the course of the campaign. That did the trick.
The Results.
The client said to us, “sell out my event with £20,000 of media budget.” We did just that spending just £13,412 - 67% of the original budget. Better yet, we managed to sell the £18.50 tickets for an average of just 86p each. Finally we also won two industry awards for best use of paid media.
tickets sold
under budget
awards won
Born Social improved everything we do several times over... and we're really good at what we do.
James Milligan
Director, Backyard Cinema
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Our work spans a variety of brands, sectors and challenges. While we can’t show it all, here's a selection that shows David thinking on social.
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We scaled Chilly's Bottles in a way true to David (not Goliath), proving that being a David is a mindset effective regardless of the level of budget.
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