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Regal Cinemas Uses FOMO to Lure Movie Fans to the Multiplex

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A creepy long-haired creature levitates into a pool party, adding some unexpected terror to an otherwise sunny day.

The demon hasn’t arrived to possess souls but rather to ask questions. Namely, why hasn’t one of the sunbathers been to the multiplex to check out the hottest horror flick du jour? Everyone’s talking about it, including all the other guests.

What happens next puts a comedy spin on a fright-film trope—projectile vomit, a la The Exorcist, ensues—and sets up a Regal Cinemas campaign with a FOMO message. 

Regal, partnering for the first time with Chicago-based independent creative agency Quality Meats, wants to keep the current box office momentum going from the summer of Barbenheimer. (Barbie has raked in more than $400 million in the U.S., while Oppenheimer is nearing a $230 million haul, per Rotten Tomatoes). 

The Tennessee-based national chain, like its competitors, is also facing delayed releases and schedule changes due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA strike that’s disrupting the Hollywood pipeline for fall and beyond. 

Anticipated flicks like the next installment of the Ghostbusters franchise and Marvel’s Kraven the Hunter have moved out of 2023, per NBC News, and Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse has dropped off the calendar pending the strike resolution.

In short, there’s no better time to try to get butts in seats and reinforce or reignite the movie-going habit. To that end, Regal is planning its most significant media buy to date on connected TV, targeting viewers while they’re primed for entertainment.

The goal is to nudge people out of their houses—and away from their mobile devices and streaming services—to see buzzworthy movies on the big screen.

“We want to remind customers that if they procrastinate, they’ll miss out,” Rodney Griffin, Regal’s creative director and an ad agency alum, told Adweek. “The prevailing attitude among certain demos is to wait and bypass theaters, but if they do, they won’t be part of the conversation their friends are having.”

There are three videos in the series, boosted by practical and special effects and directed by actor-comedian Andy Richter, whose writing and performing chops “gave us a lot of trust in how outlandish we could be,” Griffin said.

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