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Entrant: The Cyranos McCann, Barcelona

Pay Per Laugh
"Pay Per Laugh"

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Corporate Name of Client: Teatreneu
Agency Account Director: Marta Grasa
Account Executive: Jesús Verges
Agency: The Cyranos McCann, Barcelona
Executive Creative Director: Pablo Colonnese
Copywriters: Jaume Rufach/Marc Sánchez/Nil Murtra
Art Directors: Eduard Cubel/Oscar Amodia/Alejandro García
Production Manager: Alba Riart
Production Company: Canada, Barcelona
Director: Marc Oller
Executive Producer: Oscar Romagosa
Producers: Alba Barneda/Laura Serra
Creative President: Leandro Raposo
Head of Strategic Planning: Oriol Bombí
Tecnology and Programming Company: Glassworks, Barcelona

Description of the Project:
Teatreneu is an independent theatre company which has seen an alarming decline in its audiences due to the economic situation and the increase in taxes on arts performances.
After finding that older systems such as conventional advance ticketing had lost their effectiveness and ruling out charging on a voluntary basis as too subjective, the conclusion was reached that the only way to build up audiences and raise the average ticket price was to come up with a new formula.
This is how Pay Per Laugh was born: the first comedy theatre where you only pay for the laughs you get. To do this we installed facial recognition software in each seat to detect every smile and count them. Instead of paying in advance, we thought of paying at the end and only for the laughs you got, at 0,30 euros per laugh.
A way of encouraging people to come to the theatre while avoiding the anxiety involved in making the right decision at a time when people cannot afford the luxury - never a truer word - of getting it wrong.
In mid-2013, the arts sector in Spain suffered one of its worst blows ever.
The government decided to raise the tax on theatre performances from 8 to 21%, bringing about the biggest loss of audiences anyone can remember.
30 percent less audiences in just a year. The average cost of tickets fell by 20%. People turned to consuming massively “proven” entertainment like American blockbusters. Faced with this situation, the independent theatre company Teatreneu decided to take it with humour and invent something: Pay Per Laugh, the first comedy theatre where you only pay for the laughs you get.
The aim was to break down consumers’ reluctance to choose a form of leisure like the theatre and so build up audience numbers and at the same time increase average ticket prices.
To free people from a complicated decision and get them filling theatre seats again, we designed a ground-breaking, attractive and “fair” system of payment whereby they would only pay at the end and according to the laughs generated by the show.
We fitted every theatre seat with a facial recognition system to detect smiles and count them, and offered audiences the following deal: “Entrance is completely free. If the show doesn’t make you laugh, you don’t pay anything. But if you laugh, you’ll have to pay for every smile.”
Every laugh raised is worth 30 euro cents, which the way the world is going is a pretty reasonable price.
At the end of the show each member of the audience could see their account in laughs before paying for it, and even share it on their social networks.
And to avoid any tears over having laughed too much, the maximum payable was 80 laughs or 24 euros.
The average ticket price was up by 6 euros on traditional performances.
The system was covered in the leading national media. This generated more publicity and, as a result, 35% more audience.
Each Pay Per Laugh performance took 7,200 euros, compared to the 4,400 euros they had been making before.
The Pay Per Laugh system is currently being replicated in other comedy theatres around Spain.
A mobile app was created to use as a payment system in other independent venues. And the first payment by the number of laughs and not performances was successfully launched.