App Challenge- Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Alamo Drafthouse was founded in 1997 by movie fans for movie fans. Since then, this grassroots company has grown to become a world recognized movie theater. Their zero-tolerance policy for cell phones, and their commitment to providing the best customer service possible has stolen the hearts of moviegoers everywhere. Their mission statement states that they “remain dedicated to keeping the movie-watching experience safe for movie fans, serving quality food and drinks, and upholding high presentation standards.”

From an outsider’s perspective, they are doing just that. A quick look into their top social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and their website makes it is clear that Alamo Drafthouse delivers a consistent and brand conscious message to all of their sites. Their app is no different.

This free download allows you to purchase tickets, and connect with their rewards program, Victory. While there is no visible CTA’s on the first level of app, there are many once you join Victory. Free screenings, free meals and drinks, and priority access are all used to draw the new member in. Once you are a loyal fan, they keep you coming back for more with new and exciting offers.

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Content Analysis

The people behind Alamo Drafthouse know what they want from their app and they are succeeding in their goals. The app allows you to easily access their ticketing system and your bonus information if you are on the rewards program. While their website is mobile-friendly, it is much easier to access the app once it is downloaded, making it profitable for Alamo Drafthouse. However, currently the app holds no unique content that cannot be found on their website.

I had the opportunity to secret-shop at my local Alamo Drafthouse multiples times. Every time I attended a screening I ask the employees I came across a few questions about their experience with the app. Below are my findings from asking if they personally have the app downloaded:

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As you can see, the majority does! On top of those findings I would say all but one employee had something nice to say about app. If I was Alamo Drafthouse, I would be very proud of how they answered my questions. All the employees I spoke with, whether they had the app or not, were very willing to answer my questions. Most of them even offered me additional information on the rewards program.

Recommendations/ Conclusion

I have to admit, I enjoy going to Alamo Drafthouse more than any other theater. Their customer service is superb, their food is to die for and don’t get me started on how funny their custom preshow is. Still, I would do a few more things to get people really engaged.

Alamo Drafthouse is all about creating a disruption free zone, but they also personalize the brand as rebellious, quirky and cool. Cell phone use in a theater? That’s about as rebellious as you can get. Since most of their target audience, middle class adults, use Twitter, Alamo Drafthouse should too! Preshow live tweeting could enhance the engagement inside the theatre. Of course, the no cellphone rule would still apply during the duration of the actual movie screening.

They could also pay a sort of “Where’s Waldo” with their audience. Like I mentioned before, Alamo Drafthouse is very quirky. Something fun, but old-school, would be a perfect way to get their target audience to do more than just watch a movie. This, of course, is just one example. My recommendation is that Alamo Drafthouse engage off the screen with their customers.

From what I can tell, this company does not wish to capitalize on having their customer’s email addresses. Again, Alamo Drafthouse states that they want to cause as little disruption as possible, this seems to include their emailing habits. The main screen of their website also exhibits this. While there is movement of advertisements, there are no popup ads or unruly CTA’s.

Overall, Alamo Drafthouse has a clear and consistent message on all platforms. They have appropriate CTA’s, and have all of their social media icons visible at all times. Their app is easy and effective, but not too flashy. Alamo Drafthouse truly is an amazing company, one that all movie fanatics can enjoy.

Now, if you will excuse me I have to head over to my local Alamo Drafthouse for a midnight premier! I’ll eat some popcorn for you!