Transformers - Colloquy

Transformers - Colloquy


C O L L O Q U Y / Volume 18, Issue 1, 2010


Oscar Ceremonies

An odd couple makes a powerful

loyalty pair

Brian McCabe,

Scotiabank’s Vice

President of Strategic

Initiatives and


Dan McGrath,

Executive Vice President

Cineplex Entertainment



have little in common—other than,

a wag might say, waiting in line in

those not-so-long-ago days before

online banking and ticketing, But

Canada’s Scotiabank and movie

theater chain Cineplex discovered

a compatible connection—through

a customer loyalty program. This

compatibility led three years ago to

their partnered launch of SCENE,

an entertainment rewards program

that now boasts over two million

members across Canada.

Odd couple? Hardly. According to

Brian McCabe, Scotiabank’s Vice

President of Strategic Initiatives and

Partnerships, the alliance has been

extremely successful—with no Felix

and Oscar-like clashes to be found.

“It’s amazing how like-minded we

are and how strong the partnership

is,” says McCabe. “It’s very

collaborative”—with each other, and

with the program members.

The SCENE program originated in

early discussions of a possible

Cineplex co-brand credit card. While

Cineplex had already investigated

starting a loyalty program, the

partnership concept was Scotiabank’s

idea, recalls Dan McGrath, Executive

Vice President, Cineplex

Entertainment. “Rick White, who

was Vice President of Marketing at

Scotiabank, had the thought to say,

‘Maybe there’s something here that

can work for both of us.’”

The “something” was mutual benefit.

The partnership vehicle allowed

Cineplex to extend its reach to

Scotiabank customers, while

providing the means to collect data

about customer behavior. Access

to data was “absolutely critical” to

Cineplex’s interest in a loyalty

program, says McGrath. “At the time

we started the program, we had about

63 million people coming through

our doors, but we didn’t know

anything about their preferences. We

didn’t know anything about them.”

On the other side, Scotiabank’s

primary interest in the SCENE

partnership was the potential of

increasing customer acquisition

and retention, particularly among

18- to 44-year-olds. “In those ages

in particular, we were seeing slow

growth and high turnover, so it was

an attempt to make us more relevant

to them,” says Brian McCabe.

The plot (but no spoilers)

A SCENE loyalty card allows members

to accumulate points redeemable

toward such rewards as movie tickets,

popcorn and other concessions,

DVDs, music downloads, and

participation in contests for concert

tickets and one-of-a-kind

experiences. A movie ticket

redemption, for instance, costs 1,000

points. Members earn 100 points

for each adult movie ticket purchased,

and 250 points for signing up.

Scotiabank also offers a SCENE

ScotiaCard debit card and SCENE

Visa credit card, which award one

point for each dollar spent, and

award 1,000 and 2,000 points,

respectively, as a sign-up bonus.

The starring players in this

successful cinematic production


High-Definition focus.

Leveraging a laser-like focus on an

audience with a passion for

entertainment has been central to

SCENE’s success, “We found a place

in pop culture that’s relevant with

people, revolving around things

“We found a place in pop culture that’s relevant with people,

revolving around things people do regularly, allowing them

to use their cards often.” —Brian McCabe, Scotiabank

people do regularly, allowing them to

use their cards often,” says McCabe.

The SCENE audience’s passion also

allows the program to stretch beyond

base rewards to unique offerings,

adds McGrath. “The opportunity for

members to go watch the Tragically

Hip live as we record an event from

their studio in Kingston, Ontario,

and create some of those once-ina-lifetime

experiences, goes far

beyond anything that’s just about

going to the movies.”

A primary goal of SCENE, McCabe

says, is continuing to keep the

program fresh. “We don’t want to

just leave the program as it is and

rest on our laurels,” he says. Other

partners that have recently been

brought into the SCENE program—

including Live Nation for concert

tickets and Sirius for satellite radio

bundles—deliver that freshness, yet

retain the high-def entertainment

focus. Scotiabank and Cineplex hope

to soon bring in a dining partner, so

that redeeming points for “dinner and

a movie” becomes a realistic option.

Simplicity of participation. Sign-up

is free and can be completed in just a

couple of minutes in a movie theater.

Then and there, a temporary SCENE

Continued on page 20

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