Yesterday, I let off a little steam about AMC Theaters considering allowing texting during some of their movies. AMC is also throwing around the idea of having separate screenings of certain movies to allow texting so that others won’t be disturbed.
AMC’s CEO Adam Aron thinks that “22-year olds” don’t want to go to the movies because they can’t use their phones and devices while at a theater.
I wanted to see for myself what 22-year olds actually thought about the idea. I tagged a bunch of teens and 20-somethings in my friends list and asked them three questions.
“What do you think about AMC Theaters considering allowing texting during some movies, or having separate theaters for texters? Good idea or bad?”
The reactions varied.
Several respondents said, it’s not a bad idea, but had some reservations:
Several more disliked the idea:
One gave presented a need for allowing devices to stay on in a theater:
And one young man made his mom very proud, looking at the big picture. Okay, in the interest of transparency, he’s my son and, as a film major, he has a stake in the issue.
The next question was:
“Would you go to the movies more often, the same amount, or less if they allowed texting?”
Not one of the respondents, aged 13 to 20-something, said that if movie theaters allowed texting or use of devices, or had texting-only theaters, it would make them go to the movies more, as AMC’s CEO thinks they would.
It kind of makes me wonder what sort of research AMC has done to come up with the idea in the first place.
And the last question of my very informal survey:
“What would make you go to the movies more often?”
The answer that most of my young friends gave to this question had nothing to do with whether or not phones and devices would be allowed to be used in a movie theater. It had everything to do with money.
Again, this makes me wonder who was in charge of AMC’s marketing research. I’ve been in retail, retail management, marketing and public relations for a combined total of 30 years now, and this seems like Marketing 101 to me.
Let’s see if social media posters agree with my assessment.
What were some of the responses on social media?
Well, I had this whole big plan to show you some in favor of texting at the movies and some who thought the idea was totally ridiculous.
But I don’t have to because AMC Theater’s current social media post answers this question all on it’s own merit.
I would just like to thank AMC Theaters for listening to the many voices shouting “No texting!”
And I’d like to thank my young friends for sharing their thoughts with me!
I never intended this topic to be a Public Relations case study, but it looks like it has developed into one after all.
I invite you to check back in on Monday, April 18 and we’ll discuss the case a little further.
Thanks, and have a wonderful weekend.