Skyfall Advance Screening, via Klout and Cadillac

Tonight, Liz and I got to go see the new James Bond movie, Skyfall, free through a promotion from both Klout and Cadillac.

For those not familiar with it, here’s a quick overview of how Klout works: you sign up for an account by logging in via Facebook or Twitter. From there, you can add a variety of other accounts, which Klout uses to determine how much you influence your circle of friends and followers. In return you get what they call a Klout Score, which ranges from 0 – 100 (or, more accurately, from 1 – 99).

I signed up for an account a few months ago, and initially got into keeping track of my score. I admit freely it was a kind of ego thing, to see where I stood in terms of others I knew… and to see a summary of the more well-received things I shared or posted.

In addition to the score, Klout offers its participants a series of things called “Perks.” Interestingly enough, this is also part of its business model, as perks involve third parties looking to sell or promote a product/service.

Depending on your Klout Score (and I’m sure a variety of other things like location, age, gender, etc), certain people will qualify for “perks” offered by third parties. An example of a perk would be 50 free business cards from MOO.

Participants who receive perks are under no obligation to mention the company. In fact, you can just grab what you want and be done with it. But if you do choose to say something online, you can say anything you like – positive or negative. The only stipulation is that if you do mention it online somewhere, you qualify that you received the product/service free.

The trade off for all involved is: Participants get free stuff. 3rd Parties get their stuff talked about (hopefully, and in a positive light). And this kind of promotion is more “word of mouth,” and coming from trusted sources (people you know on Facebook, Twitter, etc).

Recently, a few of the perks that have shown up have been a bit more interesting – rather than $15 off some item, I’ve seen a few early-access movie premiers offered. When Skyfall was mentioned, I jumped at the chance to see it two days before the official release date.

Liz and I got to the movie theater around 5:20 or so. The registration time was 6:00 PM, with the movie starting at 7. I’m glad we got there early, as a pretty big line formed behind us.

Interestingly enough? They didn’t check ID’s. Everyone in line got a bracelet and that was about it.

Officially, the event was sponsored by Cadillac, as they were promoting their ATS model.

On walking in to the theater, we got a bag full of free stuff. We ended up going in and grabbing some seats, leaving most of our stuff on the chairs, and returning to the bar area just outside the theater doors.

There was an actual bar in the theater normally, and folks were requesting custom drinks from a menu that was available. In addition to the drinks listed, the bartenders were fine making up anything people requested.

Liz got a “secret agent” drink that involved a glow-stick, whereas I simply asked for a vodka martini. We were watching a Bond film, after all.

The guy making my drink was working with a regular glass, as all the other shakers were taken. He stirred my martini, which technically does and doesn’t matter… since we’re in the Daniel Craig era right now.

As we sipped our drinks, there were 2-3 servers walking around, offering people hors d’oeuvre. In addition to this, we each got a pair of tickets that we could redeem for free popcorn and soda.

I’ll save talk about the movie for another day, as I don’t want to accidentally have any spoilers here. If you like Bond movies, this was a great movie that definitely fit snugly into the genre. What I thought most interesting was the type of villain they chose this time around (Javier Bardem was a great choice).

I was also surprised to see how this particular Bond movie kept the concepts of time and aging as a recurring theme, throughout the movie. Maybe this has been done in others, but it was noticeable… and I kind of liked it.

Stuff from the bag: a brochure for the car, a test drive offer (which would result in a free $50 Visa gift card if you participated), a Cadillac mug I’ll probably never use, and pair of Cadillac branded headphones.

Overall, the “marketing” at the event wasn’t oppressive. There were a few banners posted up around the movie theaters, and a few small signs, and the bags… but beyond that, it was fairly low key. A woman greeted the audience at the start of the movie, and though I expected her to go into some shpiel about the car… she didn’t. We watched a brief 2-3 minute commercial, and the movie began pretty much immediately.

I think folks are still divided on how they feel about Klout. Me, I’m fine with simply maintaining an account and seeing what new offers may appear. There’s an option for people to invite friends via Facebook/Twitter, but personally… I find that kind of thing really annoying and invasive. I don’t want to spam the people I interact with online, and don’t plan on making the whole Klout thing intrusive.

For this, I figured I got a free movie out of the deal… and am sharing my experiences here on the blog. I have zero interest in buying a new car, or a Cadillac for that matter. But getting to see Skyfall early and free, along with free food, drinks, popcorn and soda… not too shabby.

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