The newest options for movie advertising
As spending on this category grows, so do the different types of ads
March 8, 2016
Like other areas of out of home, movie advertising is seeing steady growth, with spending forecast to rise 5 percent annually through 2018, according to ZenithOptimedia.
No surprise, then, that cinema advertising options are expanding. While basic signage in theater lobbies and pre-movie video ads remain popular, there are other new options for advertisers to use at theaters, many of them focused on smartphones.
Here are four new ways for advertisers to reach the movie-going public at theaters, and sometimes beyond.
Audio recognition, take one
Advertisers can use audio recognition technology on smartphones to interact with movie theater audiences in several ways.
These apps are used for discovering musical artists. For example, if you hear a song you like on the radio but don’t know who the artist is, you can use Shazam or SoundHound to have your phone “listen” to the song, and after a few seconds the artist and song info will pop up on the screen.
In movie theaters, pre-show features or ads can include the ability to pair with these apps to deliver more information or content.
For example, an auto manufacturer might run a spot for a new model during the pre-show entertainment. With Shazam or SoundHound, moviegoers can have their phones “listen” to the ads using the apps to get more information, such as more details about the car’s specs or directions to a nearby dealer.
Audio recognition, take two
A more passive way of using audio recognition rolled out recently at Spotlight Cinema Networks theaters through a new partnership with audio technology company The Tone Knows.
A silent tone is sent to moviegoers’ smartphones when an advertiser’s ad or trailer runs during the pre-movie entertainment. The tone can send messages instantly or wait until the movie is over and audiences are exiting the theater.
The silent tones aren’t sent to everyone, only those who have opted in by downloading and installing Spotlight Cinema’s CineLife app.
This is more passive because it doesn’t require people to pull out their phones and open an app to get more information. The messages are sent automatically to those who have the app on their phone.
Beacon to the future
As in the rest of the out-of-home advertising industry, beacons are beginning to make their way into movie theaters.
Beacons track consumers on an anonymous and aggregate level, using data from smartphones to discover information such as demographics and where audience members have been.
At theaters, beacons are placed at the entrance, in the lobby concession area and at the door of each theater so they can track which movies people are watching.
Beacons send push notifications to smartphone owners who have opted in, such as a mobile coupon, a link to exclusive content or more information about a product or service.
Beacons allow advertisers to retarget the audiences. For example, a retailer that runs a 30-second spot during pre-show entertainment might want to make a harder push to reach 18-34s.
Using information gathered from the beacons, the advertiser can send the young moviegoers a follow-up message when they leave the theater and another message two days later.
Buying theaters alongside TV
Earlier this year National CineMedia’s “FirstLook” pre-show inventory became available through STRATA, buying and selling software for the spot market.
Media buyers can plan, buy and bill through the STRATA platform in the top 25 markets. The system will be available in 187 markets by the end of the year.
In theory, the system allows media planners and buyers to look at movie theater audience information and compare it to spot TV inventory.
Data used in the STRATA system includes historical box office trends, individual theater attendance and box office projections for specific movies. Using demographic data and ratings methodology from Nielsen, the system creates a TV-like rating that can be compared to TV programs.
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