Roger von Oech

Creative Think

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Paul McEnany

Oh, man, I'm sure we could go on for days.

As far as the movie theater, they fell into the money trap rather than looking for balance. Obviously, some people like previews, and maybe one ad is ok (even though, after paying good money for the ticket, even that seems a little obtuse), but they forgot that balance is the most important. So, because they want some short-term gain, they've given up on the big picture. And, then, everyone loses.

Mark Cuban made a call awhile back for help on how to get people back out to the theaters.

If you look through some of the comment thread, you'll notice that while the decreasing quality of movies is a huge problem, it seems a crap theater experience is just as bad. Once again, they've tried to gain extra money in some places, cut money from others, and seriously hurt the experience of the theater in the process. It's a shame, especially now, when it's so easy to find something new...

Mack Collier

I think the theaters have fallen into a self-destructive trap. The user experience is crappy, the chairs are uncomfortable, the theaters are dirty. So ticket sales fall, and to make up for the revenue falloff, the owners raise ticket prices, popcorn prices, candy prices, and coke prices, while adding more trailers.

Which of course, all of this adds up to an even worse user experience.

David Armano

I get so happy when i hear "marketers" talk about the customer experience. Mack and Paul, you both make good points. The movie theatre industry needs to wise up. Some are trying with updated lounge areas and better seating etc.—but they need to innovate further.

BTW Roger, your pics from Vietnam are really cool. And nice to see you with your son! I hope I'll do things like that with my little guys when they get not so little.

Last thought. I love that seen from Network. And all the parodies that have been inspired from it too. :)



I think there is more to it. Cinema is suffering from DVD, pay-per-view, home-cinema phenomenon.

Why would people want go out, on a fixed schedule, pay more, to wait more, to see more advertising & more previews? BTW : if they like previews and ads, they've already seem them on the Internet, if they don't... they are getting forced to view them. Wrong "push" positioning all the way.

I think advertising planners are aware of that. As TV/cinema producer for an advertising agency in Belgium, I can tell you that for the last few years the number of ads extended to cinema (as a media) has dramatically dropped. Well, at least on our market (have no idea about the states)

So your experience should really not have happened under these circumstances, Roger. And yes David : the movie theater industry should wise up... and innovate, if they want to survive. Lounge area (indeed appear around cinemas in Europe as well), exclusive content, special guests and events, short films, new young talented directors, etc.

Roger von Oech

Paul: Thanks for the heads up about the Mark Cuban thread. I went to it and found some interesting proposals.

David, Mack: I'm glad I'm not the only one who goes bonkers with excessive trailers, and other unpleasant conditions in some theaters.

Dr. Mindblob: Looks like a good reason to catch a flick at a Euro cineplex!


I went to see Borat last night, which was the first (mainstream) cinema complex I had gone to in the states - and by God are you right! I couldn't believe how many trailers there were for films.

Now I usually end up enjoying the trailers more than the film they preceed - at least in the UK when there are only 4 or so. But this was certainly overkill.

I totally understand your frustration!


I'm reminded of this site,

A lot seems to bug him and on a regular basis. Must admit I agree with Angryman on most of it, good to see him get things off his chest.

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