Why Cinema Advertising?

Your client is working on a product launch, a service they want to grow, a message they need to disseminate, but how do you advise on the best medium for their adverts? What are the platforms at your disposal, and why would you chose one over the other? Isolating on-screen options, we often hear discussion on TV versus Cinema advertising and why, given the reach of TV and the population who access it, would we ever choose Cinema instead?

The first, and more administrative consideration is that some products or campaign messages may not be permitted by TV regulations. Any campaign deemed to promote religious beliefs, be overtly sexual or political in nature is out of luck. The list goes on and can sometimes be confusing in its apparent criteria but if it transpires that TV is unavailable to you, then Cinema is your next stop.

And whether TV advertising is an option for you or not, cinema can be applauded for presenting advertisers with a host of benefits not least a most engaged and attentive audience.

Captive Audience

Cinema-goers are undistracted. There SHOULD be little to no chance of multiple screens or popping out to make a cup of tea during the ad breaks. Cinema-goers are there by choice, they are there to see a screening of a film they’ve picked, and designing the advert roster to fit those interests means there is more likelihood that they will watch and enjoy. Pencil in the added bonus that cinemas may be the only place where it’s considered rude to talk over commercials. All in all, cinema advertisers have an unrivalled opportunity to present something to a wholly captive audience, to a targeted audience, and to an audience that is voluntarily engaging with the screen.

Targeted Demographic

What every advertiser wants. A clear and targeted demographic, researched and established based on the product or service you’re selling. Where TV demographics can be flighty and more difficult to pin down, movie audiences are far more easy to determine. We know the type of film they want to watch and when they choose to watch it, the location in which they choose to watch it and how they choose to pay. It’s interesting to note that statistically cinema audiences tend to be younger than TV audiences (Digital Cinema Media (DCM) shows 62% of cinema goers are 16 – 44 years old and predominantly from an ABC1 background (55%)).

Big Screen Values

Big screen means higher production potential. An expansive screen and large audio system can be tremendous assets when creating cinema based advertising. Also, given the longer time frame cinema advertisements can also take a more narrative approach and allow creators to take plot risks that conventional television spots (and TV policy) don’t allow. If done property, the result can be a visually appealing ad that audiences will remember long after the film is over.

Audience Retention

While a cinema audience might be smaller than other media channels, it is by contrast a highly engaged audience producing higher recall of viewed material. DCM research shows that cinema ads are eight times more effective at making brands stand out than TV. It found that cinema ads are “processed by the brain more consciously” and concluded that “cinema is more powerful and emotionally engaging”.

Globally, audiences are consuming on average 1007 media messages per day and so, understandably, the vast number of messages are ignored, or not recalled at all. Cutting through this information overload, cinema advertising can be a moment of quiet reflection and engagement.

During DCM research, of the 1200 participants included in the testing group, 13% of the cinema sample remembered the brand they had seen in the cinema and only 1.6% of the TV sample could do the same. Simon Rees, the chief executive at DCM, said: “the sheer impact and engagement of watching an ad on the big screen means cinema is the medium of choice when it comes to strengthening a brand, delivering key messages, increasing awareness and attracting new customers, especially amongst a desirable, hard to reach target audience.”

Group Activity and the Audience Effect

The other grand tick in the box of cinema advertising is that it is, on the whole, a group activity. The average group size is 2.7 so by far a group rather than a solo pursuit. Behavioural scientists would note the effect of group viewing as opposed to single viewing as it has been shown that when people are watching together, it tends to heighten emotions. Funny becomes hysterical, sad becomes even more gripping and moving. This audience effect wonderfully provides that moments are more recallable and retainable.

Environmental Opportunities

The advantages of cinema advertising are not limited to the screen. The environment of the cinema itself provides numerous opportunities to engage with an audience, in the foyer (where people spend on average 15 minutes pre film), with product samples en route to the film, or through special offers linked to the overall cinema advertising. Combining these avenues for dissemination cements this compelling medium.

Post by Robert Lyle

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