Brand Battle: AMC Theatres - Regal Cinemas | Street Fight

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AMC Theatres KOs Regal Entertainment Group

Reaching local customers is the goal, but covering all the bases in engagement and search results proved to be a vital challenge in this month’s Brand Battle. AMC Theatres and Regal Entertainment Group went head-to-head in the fight for hyperlocal participation, comparing local data to see which company brand is thriving, and why.

The Players

AMC Theatres and Regal Entertainment Group square up in the May “Brand Battle.” AMC, headquartered in Leawood, Kansas, is a 95-year-old company that brought in $2.7 billion in revenue in 2014 from 5,206 screens. Regal, headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, was founded just 26 years ago, and brought in a comparable $2.9 billion in revenue last year, off of 7,334 screens. While youth tends to hold sway in social media, in this case, the younger company isn’t leading the game in its local branding strategies, nor, apparently, its per-screen yield.

The Battle

Round 1 – Data Quality

WHY AMC THEATRES WON: Data quality is the foundation to gaining more visibility on the search engine results page. AMC’s local pages and claimed local listings were more consistent and fewer of their search results contained errors. For this analysis, Brandify used location data obtained from a major core data provider. AMC Theatre’s NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) analyses showed that across the six pillars of local presence, the company’s local data was 32.4% more accurate than Regal Entertainment Group’s. However, the analysis noted that Regal has 229 more locations than AMC, which may have affected AMC’s benefit in this category, as more locations equals more room for error.

Infographic - Brand Battle - AMC - Regal Cinemas - Where2GetIt - Street Fight - thumbnail
Infographic: Brand Battle AMC V. Regal

Round 2 – Local SEO

WHY AMC THEATRES WON: With more than half of all current searches being performed with local intent according to 2014 research commissioned by Google, a website optimized for local relevancy will rank higher on search engine results pages than one that is not. Brandify examined four key categories for local SEO, including local branded pages, business locator, website design and rankings across Google Maps and Bing Maps for keywords “Nearby Movie Theatres” and “Movie Theatres.” AMC beat Regal in every one of these categories, with the highest point differential being the business locator due to architecture, usability, SEO factors, content and design.

Round 3 – Reviews 

WHY REGAL ENTERTAINMENT GROUP WON: Brandify reports that 90% of consumers read online reviews before making purchasing decisions, making this pillar an important one in which to succeed.Brandify conducted an analysis addressing 10 different types of experiences a customer could have at entertainment theatres. The categories included “Seats,” “Clean,” “IMAX,” “Tickets,” “Popcorn,” “Prices,” “Friendly,” “Staff,” “Comfortable” and “Expensive.” AMC and Regal received similar review ratings, but the consumer sentiment satisfaction across selected keywords for Regal Entertainment Group pushed them to the top of this pillar.

Round 4 – Social Engagement 

WHY AMC THEATRES WON: AMC has more than double the number of Twitter followers of Regal, but that’s not the main reason AMC won this round. AMC’s followers are more engaged on the fastest growing social media sites, such as Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram. AMC outperforms Regal Entertainment Group on all three, and on Instagram alone, AMC has more than three times the followers of Regal. This is crucial territory for these film industry brands, where the goal is engaging with audiences through visuals. AMC Theatres recognizes which networks are working to its advantage, and pushes those more than Regal. On Facebook and Foursquare, where users check-in to share their activity, AMC fans are checking in to Facebook location pages and Foursquare locations more often than Regal fans.

Round 5 – Local Advertising 

WHY AMC THEATRES WON: According to digital marketing research company SEMRush, AMC Theatres targets 513 keywords, compared to Regal Entertainment Group’s 298 targeted keywords. Brandify discovered that both brands are bidding on branded keywords and location, but ranking keywords did not show specific local promotions or links to local pages. AMC Theatres edged slightly ahead of Regal Entertainment Group in the local advertising pillar, with AMC locations ranking in the top three search positions 7% more than Regal (all locations for each company factored in to the final scores). Since neither brand is efficiently targeting online advertisements on a local level, both companies may lose consumers to competitors that target campaigns at the local level.

Round 6 – Competitor Benchmarking 

WHY AMC THEATRES WON: Benchmarking the top competition both nationally and locally gives brand managers the insights they need to better compete and win real estate across local digital search. Regardless of size, all national brands are competing at a local level. A Brandify analysis determined that at the local level, AMC Theatres and Regal Entertainment Group are the only direct competition for each other. To find the winner in this pillar, Brandify compared the percentage each received for all the pillars put together and averaged them. In the end, AMC ranked slightly higher than Regal.

Brandify Recommendations: AMC Theatres

1 – ADVERTISE LOCALLY. When Brandify first pulled AMC advertising numbers in January, the company was spending approximately $8 per month on advertisements, but were only using national campaigns. Display advertisements should contain location-specific information, and link to a local page. To drive additional customers, AMC could localize ad copy, using unique messages or offers at each location, making ads more relevant to users.

2 – TRACK AND TARGET CONSUMERS. Brandify found that no remarketing tags were found in AMC’s website, which allows brands to target users who visited the site in the past and bring them back. AMC also does not use call tracking tags in its website, which indicates that the company is not tracking calls to the cinemas from locator or local pages.


Brandify Recommendations: Regal Entertainment Group

1 – TRACK AND TARGET CONSUMERS. Like AMC, Regal was not using remarketing tags or call tracking tags in its website. Brandify recommends that Regal track phone calls as an additional way to prove campaign ROI, which is a perfect complement to in-store traffic goals.

2 – IMPROVE USER EXPERIENCE. Brandify found that ad copy is localized, but traffic is directed to Regal can provide better user experiences if users are driven directly to the locator page or a local page.

3 – ADVERTISE LOCALLY.  Creating unique ad messages, local keywords and bid strategies based on location would help increase Regal’s audiences. Regal could apply radius targeting around every single location to avoid wasting money on clicks that do not drive any ROI. Additionally, using ad extensions would provide extra local information in advertisements, increasing relevancy.

May Brand Battle Winner: AMC Theatres


To determine the outcome, the battle was scored using data across various channels,* including Google, Bing, Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare and Brandify’s Social Data Matching (SDM) technology. Data from these sources was rolled into the Brandify analytics engine to test the two companies’ local digital marketing footprint to determine a Brand Score.

The Brand Score is calculated with an algorithm that consists of 250 variables grouped into six pillars: Data Quality, Local SEO, Reviews, Social Engagement, Local Advertising and Competitor Benchmarking. The data determining AMC’s and Regal’s online presence strengths was pulled in May and accounts for activity occurring between January 1 and April 30, 2015.

It was a close battle across all of the pillars, but AMC Theatres managed to come out on top in four out of five pillars, leading them to win the final category, Competitor Benchmarking. AMC Theatres’ superior data quality, engagement on social channels and overall local optimization made them the clear winner for this month’s battle.

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About BrandifyBrandify-Logo

Brandify is transforming the way businesses connect to consumers by leveraging location technology and offering unrivaled personal service. Brandify has helped hundreds of brands understand and improve their local presence. Current and past clients include In-N-Out Burger, True Value, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Applebee’s, Black & Decker, and more. For more information about Brandify, go to