Redbox taps Zeno as online video rental category heats up

CHICAGO: Redbox is fine-tuning its communications approach as both business and competition continue to grow in the on- and off-line video rental service arena.

CHICAGO: Redbox is fine-tuning its communications approach as both business and competition continue to grow in the on- and off-line video rental service arena. The company, owned by Coinstar, hired Zeno as its AOR, and it recently announced that it's gearing up to debut an online streaming capability sometime this year.

“Our team has been quickly evolving as our business quickly evolves, said Kate Brennan, senior PR manager at Redbox who joined the company from GolinHarris in October. She also refers to the appointment of senior director of communications Laura Dihel this past August, as well as the new agency partnership.  

The company chose Zeno following a review involving a “wide group of agencies,” including Brennan's alma maters GolinHarris and Fleishman-Hillard, she said. The team invited incumbent JSH&A, also Dihel's former employer, to pitch for the business, but the agency chose not to participate. 

“We loved the agency, but it was just time for us to explore new opportunities,” said Brennan. JSH&A could not comment at this time.

“We were seeking a public relations team that was smart, nimble, creative, and passionate and Zeno delivered on all fronts,” added Dihel, in a statement. “Redbox will work with Zeno to build awareness.”

Though unable to discuss the PR plans surrounding the upcoming streaming initiative, Brennan said that the company is currently leveraging its access to pop culture trends and hyper-local consumer datato create PR stories.”

For example, for Valentines Day the company did a survey of its romantic comedy rental data to develop a list of the most and least romantic cities, and it's currently working on a similar spring break effort.

The agency will work on traditional PR, as the team handles its social media functions in-house. 

News of the partnership comes as traditional online rental services heat up the competition. Netflix is attempting to boost its brand and stock, via marketing and content deals with major entertainment networks. It also comes as nontraditional networks like Facebook introduce movie streaming functions.

As reported in February, Redbox revenue grew 38% to $319.6 million for the quarter, year-over-year.

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