The magic of the silver screen never fades. More than 170 million trips to the cinema were made in the UK in 2017, which is considerably greater than the size of the population.

The experience of going out to see a film in high definition and with great sound remains hugely attractive across the age groups. Yet with the price of tickets often in double figures, many consumers hold back from going as often as they might like.

It is here that businesses can step in to offer free or discounted vouchers that are highly persuasive when prospective customers consider signing up to a new deal or renewing an existing one.

Banks, insurers and broadband-providers may already offer shopping or restaurant vouchers, which are certainly worth having, yet few offer anything that is purely about pleasure and relaxation. This is where cinema vouchers come in. As consumers a trip to the cinema offers us a night out where we can forget the hassles of everyday life and enjoy top-quality entertainment with popcorn and ice-cream.

The offer of free or even discounted vouchers can act as a real sweetener for customers thinking over a decision about a new bank account, home and car insurance or life policy. A brand that offers vouchers to the magical world of cinema adds sparkle and fun to its profile, alongside the predictable chain-restaurant and retail discount vouchers.

Take, for example, a company providing health or life insurance which incentivises customers to complete healthy exercise programmes. It can make those hard-won targets seem more attractive by offering cinema vouchers at each stage. And because cinema is a never-ending story with a constant stream of new releases to show, it never loses its appeal and is perfect for long-term loyalty campaigns.

Having a chance to see a much-anticipated release works in most areas of business where the prospective customer has a lot of choice and is deciding between many options. It can persuade consumers looking for a new car, for instance, to get behind the wheel for a test drive, bringing them inside the showroom. Equally, the offer of vouchers can convince an indecisive browser to buy a magazine subscription for a friend or relative.

Using the pleasure principle works too when things don’t go according to plan. For a utility company facing disgruntled customers about broadband or power downtime, what could be better than easing those frustrations with the offer of seeing a movie or two for free?

Opia has inside experience of just how effective the offer of free or discounted cinema vouchers is in changing consumer behaviour. We have long been working with ODEON – the UK’s largest cinema chain with more than 100 sites – to provide companies with low-cost access to vouchers they can employ as part of their promotional armoury. Spreading some stardust on what a business offers, especially in the financial or utility sectors can make a significant difference.

It’s not just that everyone likes a deal, they enjoy the chance to have a great time for free.