Case Study


How a Cinema Leader Used Digital Communications to Stay Connected with Customers While Theaters Were Locked Down

Media | Entertainment: Cinema

Cineplex is a market leader in cinemas in Germany. The group was founded in 1997 as a merger of medium-sized cinemas, to optimize their operations and joint marketing. Today, the technically innovative group has more than 90 movie theaters united nationwide under the Cineplex brand.

Cineplex is not only Germany’s largest cinema provider, with 66 locations and more than 530 screens (including multiplexes as well as art house theaters), but is also one of the largest groups in Europe. The Cineplex Group welcomed nearly 15 million visitors to its cinemas in 2018.

The Challenge

Cinemas were among the businesses hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Like other industries dependent on people gathering as a collective group, cinemas were forced to fully shut down their business for months on end – and only slowly permitted to reopen, in very limited capacities. For Cineplex, the pandemic lockdown presented a difficult list of challenges:

Cineplex moved quickly to address these challenges with creativity and innovation. It was “lights, camera, action” as the group committed to these key objectives:

1. Find creative, new ways to stay connected with movie fans and keep them engaged
2. Create new ways to produce and secure income
3. Stay in touch regularly with customers so Cineplex would be first in mind once movie theaters could open again

With our cinemas struggling, we tried to survive with creativity, the right tools, and the objective to stay relevant and connected with our customers. One of the tools that helped us to survive was Marigold Engage. We could build new campaigns and execute them on many channels.

Thomas Limmer

Director, Digital Services & eCommerce, Cineplex

The Path To Success

Take One: One of Cineplex’s first moves was to set up a cooperation with a movie streaming platform, to offer customers an at-home cinema experience during lockdown. The new feature, “Cineplex Home,” was integrated into the Cineplex website and promoted through email campaigns and social media.

Take Two: To generate consumer interest and excitement about this new kind of cinema experience, the group also created special events in lockdown like “Ladies First Parties,” a successful series that invited users to a “home party” where fans could watch a movie together. Additionally, Cineplex created a special website for users to order online movie snacks, complete with home delivery service.

Take Three: To keep customers informed and engaged with all these lockdown movie experiences, Cineplex developed and delivered regular email newsletters using Selligent, with details about movie schedules, personalized to each customer. The group also stayed in touch and engaged with customers through an ongoing series of email campaigns that included sweepstakes, movie riddles, and surveys.

Take Four: To address the challenge that loyal customers might be hesitant to come back into theaters once lockdowns were eased, Cineplex set up a survey to find out more about the safety and hygiene requirements their fans considered important before going to the movies again. This campaign was built in Marigold Engage.


That’s a wrap! Cineplex was delighted with customer response to these initiatives, as people seemed eager to connect with other fans in some new ways that could temporarily replace the in-person movie experience.

“I can’t overstate how important it was for us to be able to communicate relevant information to our customers during lockdown and to find ways to generate new income,” said Thomas Limmer, Director, Digital Services & eCommerce for Cineplex. “Selligent enabled us to do this in a way that was easy to implement and track, including the help of a special landing page form we built with the Selligent platform to collect email addresses. All of these efforts have proven to be enormously appealing to our customers, as well, and have kept us connected in this critical time.”

35 %
Email Open Rate
14 %
Clickthrough Rate

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