Skip links

Cinema and Movie Theater Advertising Guide – How To Effectively Increase Brand Awareness

People enjoy going to the movies to unwind, relax, and find quality entertainment. While there, aside from seeing the movie itself, they are also bombarded with trailers of upcoming movies and of various advertisements from different companies offering a wide array of products and services. Since they are a captive audience in the cinema with nowhere else to go, movie goers are left without a choice but to watch what is being shown on the big screen.

What is Cinema and Movie Theater Advertising?

Simply put, this is crafting ads showcasing a company’s products and services, and showing them on the silver screen. Movie theater or cinema advertising has become a vital component of the media mix. Movies actually have an edge because they are a cut above the rest of the different kinds of media. Films create a larger than life and lasting memory which brands leverage on. Since movie goers stick to their seats during the pre-show as they wait for the actual movie, they are more attentive to the silver screen.

Benefits of Advertising in Theaters and Cinemas?

People love the movies, so much that the industry has been thriving for more than a century. The crowds are enraptured by the magic of moving making. They enjoy the entire movie-going experience, which is why the industry has been thriving for years and decades. Watching a newly released movie in the theater will never measure up to seeing that same movie in a giant sized home TV because the theater offers pitch darkness, surround sound, a great crowd that intensifies emotional reactions to the scenes, and a wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor screen. Because of these factors, showing an ad in the cinema makes a lot of sense. Here are some distinct advantages of cinema advertising:

The Captive Audience

Sitting in a dark theater is a captive audience with nowhere to go but to wait for the movie to start. They fear missing out even on a few seconds of the movie they paid to see. As a result, they sit through all the cinema ads and the trailers. On top of that, since most theaters ask for people to turn off their phones before the lights are dimmed, the audience has no other choice but to keep their eyes glued on to the screen. Cinema ads and trailers are not something can be done away with a fast forward button.

Free From Distractions

Being in the cinema means people are free from interruptions and distractions. Cinema goers do not normally multitask, as opposed to what they do with other forms of media, so they are more inclined to watch the ads and receive the full impact of its message from start to finish. This is the reason why many large businesses opt to tap box office strength and invest of cinema advertising.

More Receptive Attitude

Because the audience has a more receptive and responsive attitude towards the forty-foot silver screen, investing on cinema advertising makes a lot of sense because of the high recall rate. Majority of people who saw the ads in the cinema are most likely to remember them. The movie theater as whole provides an immersive environment that creates a more engaged and attentive crowd as they anticipate watching their movie.

More Targeted Demographic Group

Movie theaters actually have the capability of offering a targeted demographic group. People living within the ten mile radius of the cinema are the prime targets. In addition to that, research has shown that most movie-goers fall under the age group of 16 to 44 years old. Those figures alone are a gold mine of information, which companies can use when they craft their video content.

Leverage on Cross Promotional Marketing

A movie theater is the perfect venue for initiating crossover marketing and other catchy promotional events. To illustrate, companies have been known to hand out samples and other corporate paraphernalia like brochures in the lobby before the film start. In the same token, as the patrons leave after the movie, they can receive discount coupons. Setting up a booth in the movie lobby to garner more attention is also a possibility. There are numerous and creative ways to tap this advertising segment.

Drawbacks of Advertising in Theaters and Cinemas?

There are some disadvantages of using cinema advertising, especially for smaller businesses that do not have large budgets, have lesser income, and have limited consumer base. Here are some of these cinema advertising cons:

It is Expensive

Businesses do not just have to pay to show the movies inside the cinema, they also have to craft the content that would be fit for showing on the big screen. Often, the parameters of cinema quality videos are different and more expensive to produce than regular videos. Making the short advertising clip alone for cinema use comes at a huge price, coupled with paying the movie theater for the rights to show the ads, the costs just keep on piling up.

Lack of Audience

People who watch movies already know that there are a bunch of pre-show videos before the actual movie starts. Some opt to arrive late in order to avoid sitting through these annoying ads and trailers. According to a study in Auburn University, many individuals interviewed state that their purpose of going to the cinema is to see the movie and not the ads, so they don’t particularly care for them. In fact, some of them feel annoyed when there are too many ads. Choosing this advertising route means risking spending advertising money on an audience that is not even there.

Problems Associated with Recall

Several studies indicate that the typical movie theater audience will have very poor to no recollection of the ads or commercials that they get to see before the movie begins. Their attention is primarily focused on the movie itself, paying closer attention to its plot so they can discuss it with their friends. This totally defeats the purpose of advertising where the goal is brand recall.

Issues on Targeting the Right Audience

Another drawback of choosing cinema advertising is that it has the danger of not reaching the proper target audience for the product or service that a company is offering. The crowd of movie goers is usually diverse, especially those that have been rated for the General Audience and PG (Parental Guidance). Businesses cannot just release a generic ad in order to be effective, so targeting right audience entails a lot of work and money.  Catering to different kinds of demographics possess the danger of the message being lost in a big crowd.

How Much Does Cinema Advertising Cost?

The cost to produce the cinema quality advertisement alone requires the professional expertise of a production company adept on using the big screen. That aspect would already require thousands. Then there is the cost of advertising placement in the different theaters. According to the The Wall Street Journal, cinemas actually make a portion of their profits from these ads, and in the recent years, these revenues have increased by ten to fifteen percent. Think along the lines of $3,000 for a thirty second ad, showing for four consecutive weeks, per theater.

Tips For Advertising in Cinemas and Theaters

Relying on movie theater advertising is already thinking outside the box. It is so very different form the traditional advertising methods, but that doesn’t mean one cannot harness the success they have attained from there methods. Here are some key tips to remember for cinema advertising:

  • Stay true to the company’s brand and image. Never forget about it through the course of the movie ad.
  • Do not forget to incorporate the company logo and the company colors.
  • Look at the company’s previously produced print ads and online ads to get some inspiration.
  • Review past story boards in order to see what has worked and what has not.
  • Sometimes, creating symmetry with other past advertising works have the capability of increasing brand awareness.

Stats About Cinema and Theater Advertising

The exciting world of cinema has always been a cut above the other mainstream types of media. And industry report called “The Bigger Picture” that is Hall & Partners for Digital Cinema Media said that cinema is vastly different from any other type of media. The movie theater advertisements that the movie goers watch are more consciously and methodically processed by the human brain. This proves that the cinema is indeed a more engaging medium for many different brands.

On top of that, their marketing director by the name of Zoe Jones reiterated that advertisements through the movie theaters are eight times more effective than TV in ensuring that a brand stands a cut above the rest. Their studies showed that if people are exposed to an unbranded product, three times more movie goers will be able to remember what the brand is, as opposed to TV audiences with barely any recollection. Moreover, cinema goers are quadruple times likely to be more emotionally invested and engaged in the whole endeavor than the TV viewers. Indeed, nothing can beat the big screen for sheer scale, size, and impact. The entire cinematic experience shall always be a league unto its own.