Skip the long lines and Fandango-it to the back row!
Fandango (owned by Comcast) sells movies tickets via their award winning mobile app, online and over the telephone (1-800-Fandango). They make it is easy for moviegoers to discover and purchase the right movie ticket at the right time, at a theater near you.
The mobile app even has a feature called “Go Now” which instantly displays movies based on current time of day and nearest theater. The company was founded in 2000 by three theater chains: Regal Entertainment Group (majority stakeholder), United Artists (Owned by Regal) and Hoyts. Early on, Regal recognized an emerging trend – how technology was adding convenience. They were nervous that one of their biggest competitors, movietickets.com, would dominate the selling of movie tickets online. With their experience, Regal wanted more than just a piece of the market.
They focused on solving a long lasting pain point – not getting a seat in the theater. In fact, Fandango gained in popularity when obsessed Harry Pottery fans figured out they could ensure a seat on opening weekend. Technology flips rather frustrating, but yet common,scenarios upside down, which can add layers and layers of simplicity. With just a click, Fandango keeps all moviegoers one step ahead by creating a fast track to their seats. At arrival, theater personnel just scan your app-produced QR code and you can walk right in. Skip the paper and line. Instant gratification, check!
Fandango continues to increase their screen count – more partnerships means more app downloads and more revenue (Fandango takes a small fee on every ticket sold.) Just last year, Fandango partnered with Pacific Theaters, Studio Movie Grill and Krikorian Premiere Theaters, while extending their partnership with Regal Entertainment Group (largest theater circuit in the US). Fandango just surpassed 25,000 screens in the United States, controlling the majority of the market. For a complete list of their partners, visit their about page.
Why is Fandango Called Fandango?
From as far as I know, the name is not derived in anyway from the Portuguese folk dance (Google it!). Unlike most brands, finding why it’s called Fandango was not an easy task. The name “Fandango” was suggested by an advertising agency. At the time they were kicking around a bunch of different names, including some fairly straightforward names with the words “movie” or “feature” in them, similar to movietickets.com. In the end, they decided to go with Fandango because it conveys a fun, kinetic, and smart image. It’s a brand people could easily pronounce and remember – even though it really has nothing to do with movies.
By rearranging a couple of the letters around you can make “fan-and-go”, strangely similar to the objective they are solving. Maybe just coincidence, maybe not.
“We’re focused on making Fandango a place for learning about, deciding, and ultimately going to the movies” – Fandango President, Paul Yanover
Preview: Bag Puppets Drive Brand Message
Ted Hong, an experienced marketing vet joined Fandango in 2003. At the time, Fandango was growing, but was not brand focused. Hong wanted to drive home “ease of use” and the “movie-going experience” in a quirky way. In a way that people would pay attention. Fortunately, the majority of these ads would run during the previews in theaters. Great targeting, but it’s not exactly easy to get people’s heads out of their popcorn. Additionally, people talk prior to the movie because of the silent zone they are about to enter.
If you know the inspiration behind the logo redesign, please comment below!
Building Content Hubs – Contests, Celebrities & Cleverness
Fandango builds utility (usefulness), creativity and personality into their brand – building loyalty!
Going to the movies is not exactly a one-off activity. Often people go several times a month – with friends and family. This creates a great marketing opportunity for Fandango. “Frequency” leads to top of mind and “groups” leads to more word of mouth. And even in today’s online world, word of mouth is still the main driver of user acquisition. Brands that exceed expectations (not easy to do today) will reap the rewards. Every time people go to a movie each person needs to buy a ticket or someone buys for the group. Both of these payment scenarios pull Fandango into the conversation. Like Uber (I need a safe, reliable ride), Fandango is solving common scenarios over and over again, “what’s playing right now? “what’s coming out next week?” “what theater is movie x playing at tonight?” “how do I buy movie tickets online?” and the list goes on. The app is so useful it’s almost hard not to share with friends. Eventually, Fandango will become a verb (Fandango-it) and the phrase “movie theater” will be a powerful brand trigger for Fandango, building brand equity.
See Also: Why is it called Netflix?
Contests – #fandangoscarecontest
Celebrities – #womencrushwednesday
Cleverness – #fandangofamilycontest
How do you purchase your movie tickets? Thanks for reading Why is it called Fandango?!
Adam Lang is the founder and editor of Rewind & Capture. He is passionate about creative marketing, design and brand etymology.