Thursday, 17 May 2012

SCENE Loyalty Program: Part I

A few posts ago, I talked a little bit about Cineplex (disclaimer: I hold a long position in the company). I also mentioned their loyalty program, SCENE. Today I would like to talk about the program from a consumer's perspective. 

The SCENE program allows moviegoers to collect points to redeem for not only movie tickets, but anything ranging from gift cards to music downloads. There are multiple ways to get points. 100 points are awarded when a movie is seen, up to 150 points are earned when a concession combo is purchased, and also obtained via DVD, Blu-ray and digital movie downloads.

Now that you amassed a large amount of points, what can you spend them on? Along with the free movies (at the cost of 1000 points), there are popcorn and movie snacks (starting at 1000 points),  DVD, Blu-ray and digital downloads (starting at 1500 points), free music (starting at 2000 points) and Bon Appétit e-Gift Cards (which come in 3 denominations; $25, $50, and $100 and costs 3125 points, 6250 points and 12500 points respectively). The Bon Appétit e-Gift Cards can be used at Swiss Chalet, Montana’s, Kelsey’s, Harvey’s and Milestones Grill + Bar, which is a nice variety.

Along with the points system, there are some other perks. First off, it's free to sign up and use, secondly, presenting your SCENE card at the concession stand not only gets you points, but also a 10% discount. To top it off, you'll receive 250 points just for signing up.

Although the SCENE program is a great deal even if you don't go to the movies often (free is usually a good deal), we can try and quantify how much of a deal it is by putting a dollar amount on the points.

First let's do the math for a simple movie redemption at 1000 points. The price of a general admission ticket is $11.99, which means that each point is valued at $0.001199 or a cent (to arrive at this number, simply take the value of the redemption and divide it by the amount of points needed; $11.99/1000 points). Now we can look at all the points earned as a dollar amount. When earning 100 points for watching a movie, you're really getting 12 cents back (100 points x $0.001199/point = $0.1199).

Still with me? Good, let's move on to the second step. Now 12 cents back for every movie ticket you pay for isn't amazing by any stretch of the imagination (again it's free and 12 cents is better than nothing) but this is only if we considered redeeming the points for additional movie tickets. We can use the same method to see the value of one point if we used it to redeem other prizes. We can look at the Bon Appétit e-Gift Cards.

Before we start, I'd like to point out that the value of each denomination is the same; when the denomination doubles, the points required to redeem is doubled as well. Usually, the higher denominations costs less on a per point basis but since they all cost the same, there's no incentive to redeem the $100 e-Gift Card since you would have to wait longer to accumulate 12500 points. You can get the $25 e-Gift Card for the same cost but you can get it faster.

Okay now that that's out of the way, we can see that if the points were used to get a meal rather than to watch a movie, each point is worth $0.008 ($100 / 12500 points = $0.008/point; any of the other denominations would yield the same result). Turns out that this is even worse than getting movie tickets!

You can go on with the same approach with all the prize options to see which one would give you the most bang for your buck point. In part II, I'll talk a little more about the SCENE program and the available credit and debit cards.

-the Paperboy

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