bCode, Screenvision and Sprint bring mobile couponing into movie theaters


You know the words, folks – sing it with me:

♫ Lets all go to the lobby, lets all go to the lobby, lets all go to the lobby, and get ourselves a discount on concession stand goods via our cellular telephones. ♫

Sure, those aren’t the words to the jingle as we know it – but they might take over, eventually. This morning, turn-key mobile coupon service bCode announced a partnership with Sprint and in-theater advertising group Screenvision to bring bCode’s mobile coupon kiosks to over 500 theaters nationwide.

The premise is fairly simple: during Screenvision’s pre-roll ads and through physical ads (signage, machine branding) located around the theaters, Sprint customers will be offered various discounts that they can request via SMS. Once they’ve received a confirmation text, they leave said text open on screen and then scan their handset’s face at a bCode kiosk. No Bluetooth connection or crazy RFID system required; just good ol’ fashion text recognition, ensuring that just about every handset with a screen (that is, every Sprint handset) is ready to go on day 1. Once scanned, the kiosk prints out their redemption ticket and the customer gets their discount.

bCode’s coupons are encrypted and uniquely tagged for each phone number, which helps to ensure that user’s cant easily fake-out the system. This also allows for bCode to roll out a “loyalty points” system at some point in the future, allowing customers to accumulate points for bigger discounts

As mentioned, the discounts are only given to Sprint customers. Now, this may seem a bit brash; no one’s going to go “Oh hells yes – 50% off my popcorn? I’m switching to Sprint as soon as this movies over!” With that said, a bit of feigned exclusivity (“Psst, hey you, Sprint customer. Sprint loves you more than other carriers love their customers – here, have a discount that no one else can use, cause you’re awesome.”) goes a long way for brand building. Considering that Sprint is bleeding customers each and every quarter, it goes without saying that brand building is something that Sprint could use right now.

bCode’s kiosks come in various forms, from on-counter to in-wall. Check out a demo of the system in the video below: