Self-described as a “wonderful work in progress”, Eric Blignaut, Senior Account Executive at Cinemark, has been in the industry for 11 years. It’s the magical feeling of cinema that drives his love for his job, along with how it is constantly adapting and changing. Eric is also a man with a plan, and that is to encourage all who will listen to see that the future of cinema is bright in this country.
“I think my clients and agencies are sick of hearing me go on about our digital roll out, but the changes for our industry are truly profound,” Eric says, explaining how Cinemark is rising to the challenge of industry trends. “Material turnaround time, huge flexibility in changing reel content and cost savings are just a few of the exciting factors affecting the sector at the moment.”
Eric believes that it is this flexibility – along with a more diverse audience – that enables cinema to offer advertisers more, something that was not available when Eric first joined the industry. However, in a tough economic climate, it can be difficult to win business. Eric has a three pronged approach to deal with this: knock on more doors, have an even greater interest in and understanding of an advertiser’s challenges and deliver creatively, from the way you present your business to the way you structure deals. Essentially, it is measurability and proven ROI that advertiser’s want from media owners in a margin-crushed media environment, this go-getter explains. “Strong relationships are vital, but providing exactly the right solution will guarantee repeat business.”
Drawn into the world of cinema because of its timeless nature, the coffee addict who is afraid of ‘Beliebers’ says, “I’ve seen hundreds of movies and I still get that magical feeling when the lights go down.”
A keen Potter and a huge Karaoke-fan, if Eric could possess one super power in his line of business it would be telepathy. His biggest flaw is his constant analysing, while perseverance is one of his best assets. “Persevere, things change,” he says, which he counts among the best advice he’s ever gotten.
With his favourite spot being the Alps, the travel-lover says he wants to see a lot more of the world. He’d also like a garage like Jay Leno’s.
Get up, dress up and show up is how Eric sees the world. He says, “For me, every time a client has acknowledged my work, it’s career and personally defining.”