Cinema Advertising or ‘screen advertising’ as it is sometimes referred to, is a form of advertising that displays commercials and other messages on the big screen of a cinema or movie theatre. It is one of the oldest advertising mediums, having started in the 1930s, and is a popular advertising method in many countries, including the UK.
To put it simply, cinema advertising involves displaying ads to movie goers before each film shown. It is usually a combination of larger banner ads or films playing before or after the movie, usually in combination. Ads can vary in length, with a majority lasting 10 or 20 seconds, though some can be longer. Ads can also vary in format, with static images and motion graphics also playing a part in modern day cinema advertising.
The primary benefit of cinema advertising is that it gives brands the chance to engage with a highly targeted audience. Movie goers are typically incredibly receptive to marketing messages, and cinema audience data can be extremely precise. Advertisers can target their audiences with high precision and can really drill down into the precise demographic type they wish to engage. The large, dark and loud environment of a traditional cinema does a fantastic job of helping the ads stand out, and, for those in the UK, the ads will also be able to reach large cities with a large proportion of younger people.
In terms of planning and launching a cinema advertising campaign, the first step is usually to hire a good creative team. Creative teams usually consist of an agency, a media buyer and an advertising company, who will work together to design the creative concepts and strategies. Getting the creative just right is essential, as it must grab the audience’s attention and draw them in. It is therefore important to focus on the look and feel of the ad, and to consider the narrative structure and story structure of the overall piece.
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Once the creative team has developed the content, the ads should be scheduled for screening. Most UK cinema’s and movie theatres have in-house ad schedulers, and it is also possible to partner with a company to purchase third-party add space. It is important to ensure that the adverts are tested, as it will be key to determine the optimal viewing time, which can depend on the type of advert and the type of audience being targeted.
Finally, it is essential to consider the effectiveness of any campaign once it has gone live. It is important to consider the metrics used to track the success of an advertising campaign, such as view-through rates, brand awareness, and engagement rates. Many cinema’s offer detailed analytics about their adverts, including impressions, engagement time, and ad recall. For those looking to reach the younger age demographic, there are also other analytics services such as those from Cinema Fusion which offer detailed insights.
Cinema advertising is a powerful tool for brands wanting to engage a highly targeted audience. The key to success is to ensure that the creative team are focused on creating appealing and engaging adverts, whilst considering the best times for the adverts to be screened. Ad metrics in particular should be closely monitored to measure the effectiveness of the campaign, so that any necessary tweaks or improvements can be made. With the right team and the right strategy, cinema advertising can help to drive a powerful marketing message.