What’s behind Event Cinema’ rebranding strategy

GM of customer experience shares the brand and customer thinking behind its rebranding effort


Building a unifying brand narrative positioning Event Cinemas as an experience-led entertainment offering of choice has seen the company overhaul its brand identity and strategy.

Event Cinemas general manager of customer experience, Alexandra Holden, told CMO the decision to embark on what is the first brand refresh in nearly a decade stemmed not only from a desire to modernise, but also better align visual branding with business goals.

Notably, over the past year, Event Cinemas has launched several new concepts, “all with the aim of creating a world of entertainment experiences under one roof”, Holden said. Among these are Event 4DX, which launched last October, as well as Event Boutique earlier this year. The latter designer experience is aimed at being more immersive, and has seen Event debut a library set-up complete with books at its George Street, Sydney location. Another designer space, dubbed ‘Paparazzi’, gives cinema goers the opportunity to walk a red carpet.

More recent product innovations include Event Junior, a response to research on family attendance that found many parents won’t bring children between four and seven years of age to the cinema because it’s stressful. The playground-like offerings includes a kid’s slippery dip, kid-friendly day beds and more.

Event has also introduced ‘Your cinema, your way’, with the option of day beds, recliner or normal seating in existing cinema auditoriums. In all, eight different cinema offerings are available.

“We have done a lot of customer research in the last 12-18 months to focus on what people genuinely want in a cinema experience. Given the experience economy, we want all to create experience-led cinema going,” Holden said.

“We challenged Landor to help us – while styling true to our brand – and come up with a strategy that talks to all our different experiences and choices we have created for customers. We wanted to create experience-led cinema going with all those choices under one roof.”

The fresh branding has already been rolled out across Event digital channels and touchpoints, and marketing campaigns are all under the new visuals and style elements. The brand will be rolled out physically over the next 18 months as Event renovates its cinema complexes.

Landor’s contract with the Event Hospitality & Entertainment group extends to rebrands of all entertainment, hospitality and leisure properties in its portfolio, including QT Hotels, Rydges and Atura. But while there is an overarching strategy, and all divisions will share some unifying elements, each is committed to its own identity, Holden said.

Over coming months, Event Cinemas will rollout refreshed brand campaigns, although Holden stressed the team is “not necessarily looking for one big brand moment”.

Related: How Event Cinemas used WeChat to build Chinese audience engagement

The work represents the first brand overhaul since the group shifted from core brand identity, Greater Union, and launched Event Cinemas. The aim then was to create a premium cinema experience, around elements such as Gold Class and Vmax.

As well as the external brand work, Event engaged Landor to run workshops with key stakeholders across all levels of staff involving them in the new brand strategy. Holden said the initiative was about recognising employee experience is as important as external customer experience.

“It was important staff understand the motivations for the rebrand, and make it feel like they’re part of the culture,” she said. “They were part of the research around the strategy and where we landed.

“It’s not just about looking beautiful, it needs to feel part of the end-to-end experience and how we deliver staff in cinemas.”

Key to understanding the impact of the work for Holden will be brand tracking and awareness.

“We want to have a clearly defined point of view in the market. We want to make sure we are the first choice from an employee and customer standpoint, and be able to have what we stand for represented in the market,” she said.  

“We have a few key competitors, and us being the first choice is important… People continue to come to the movies and see us as one of the best choices to spend their time. That’s what we’re competing with – time.”  

Landor creative director, Tom Carey, said the challenge was to create a singular brand to match varied experiences. The team partnered with motion Studio Never Sit Still to create 2D patterns, immersive motion sculptures and cinema-inspired typography for Event. These culminate in a single logo ticker.

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