Experimenting with an exit poll
As part of my university assignment to do an acquisitions report for a Japanese suspense thriller Creepy (2016) by Kiyoshi Kurosawa I designed an exit poll to be executed at Creepy's screening at the Leeds International Film Festival where the film was showing.
Nervously, I headed to Leeds, printed copies of my questionnaire at a local Radisson Blue (thanks again!) and bough about a trillion very poor pens from a local Poundland.
The exit poll aimed to find out why audiences went to see Creepy and how likely they were to recommend the film to their friends. I especially wanted to find out whether traditional thriller audiences, those who came to see the film because of its genre, were likely to recommend the film. Also, I was interested in finding out the primary reason for women to see the film.
The exit poll was executed on Tuesday the 15th of November at the Leeds International Film Festival’s screening of Creepy at Vue The Light in Leeds city centre at 5.45 pm screening.
Throughout this post I am referencing conclusions backed by other research about who I think the film should be targeting. Here is a link to the entire acquisitions report for which the exit poll was created for.
Overview of the results:
Altogether 60 audience members answered the questionnaire. 63,33 % of those who answered were men, 33,33% women and 3,33% preferred not to say. In terms of age, the majority (55%) were between 25-35 and 27% were between 34-45. Only around 11% were over 44.
Primary reason for the audience to see Creepy was the appealing story (38%). The second most popular reason for watching Creepy was because the audience liked thrillers and thought they would like Creepy (23%). The third most popular reason for seeing Creepy was because the audience liked foreign-language films (22%).
45% of the audience were very likely or likely to recommend the film to their friends. 26,67 % were very unlikely or unlikely to recommend the film to their friends.
Deeper analysis of the results:
Altogether 20 women completed the survey. Out of those, 11 said that the reason for choosing Creepy was because the story appealed to them and 5 women mentioned that they chose the film because they liked thrillers. However, these two answers are inherently linked because for the story to appeal in the first place, there must be an interest in crime, detective stories and thrillers.
Combined 80% of women went to see the film because of the story or because they liked thrillers. Also, 50% of those women who said they chose the film because of the story or because it was a thriller, said they would be very likely or likely to recommend the film. 18% of those said they were very unlikely or unlikely to recommend the film.
This result backs the strategy of targeting the film to women who enjoy thrillers and promoting the aspect of investigation and the theme of urban alienation in the marketing.
Only one woman said they chose the film because they were familiar with the director's earlier work, compared to 6 of the men. All in all only 7 said that was their reason, backing up the strategy to focus the marketing to thriller audiences and positioning the director's fans as a tertiary audience.
40 men completed the survey. Majority of men (32,5%) chose the film because they found the story appealing. 25% mentioned they chose the film because they liked thrillers, and 25% said they chose it because they like foreign films. As a comparison, only 15% of the women who saw Creepy said they chose it because they like foreign-language films.
This supports a strategy to profile the film to women who like thrillers and younger cinephile men who enjoy foreign language films.
Out of those men who chose to see the film because the story appealed to them or because they tend to like thrillers, 30% were very likely or likely to recommend the film to their friends. This is significantly lower than the 50% of women in the same category who would have recommended the film. Out of the men who chose the film for the story and genre, also 30% were very unlikely to unlikely to recommend the film, which is significantly higher than the 18% of women who said the same.
This could mean that the story is more likely to resonate with female thriller fans rather than male thriller fans, and that word of mouth from female thriller fans is going to be better than word of mouth from male thriller fans.
The film festival audience does not accurately represent the general cinema audience. However, as the film is likely to aim at art-house theatres, the correlation between film festival audiences and the the target audience can be considered more accurate than a comparison to mainstream cinema audiences.
Furthermore, the sample size was limited as only 60 people took part in the survey. Therefore the results can not be interpreted to resemble bigger market trends accurately and should only be interpreted along broader research and data.