Regal, MasterCard Star In Double Bill

“Are you talking to me?” a young man at a grocery store says to a bemused cashier, whipping out Regal Chase Platinum MasterCard and doing his best impression of Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver.

The scene is from one of three cinema spots that break March 4 to tout the first movie-chain-branded offering from MasterCard. The card’s reward plan offers movie tickets and popcorn at Regal 560 locations.

The program is aimed at consumers who rarely spend enough to collect on bigger rewards such as airplane tickets, said Cliff Marks, president of marketing and sales for Regal CineMedia in New York. Regal’s MasterCard program gives a 1 percent rebate or 4 percent toward the purchase of tickets and concession items at Regal venues.

The in-cinema spots, which will run during the 20-minute marketing block before most screenings at Regal theaters, were created by Johnson & Murphy in Los Angeles, an independent Regal roster shop that specializes in promos for syndicated TV. The spots all follow the flirtations of the same couple quoting movie lines.

Regal and MasterCard will tout the program at other theater touchpoints. The goal is “determining what’s best in terms of a marketing alliance that leverages both brands,” said Anthony Gracia, vp for retail and small ticket markets for MasterCard in Purchase, N.Y. Sources said MasterCard and its lead agency, Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson, have discussed integrating the Regal rewards program into its “Priceless” campaign.

Spending was not disclosed; Regal Entertainment spent $5 million marketing CineMedia last year, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.