Your client going mobile at the movies
Two thirds of moviegoers own smartphones
March 11, 2013
More than two-thirds of U.S. moviegoers now own a smartphone, and more and more advertisers are using those phones to reach moviegoers.
Advertisers are integrating mobile elements into their cinema campaigns to stay connected with people when they’re not in the theater lobby or looking at ads on the movie screen.
Mobile components in theater campaigns can offer moviegoers something of value, such as exclusive content or an opportunity to enter sweepstakes. In return advertisers get the measurability that mobile advertising offers.
To find out how to get your client at the movies, read on.
This is one in a Media Life series on buying out-of-home venues. They appear weekly.
Advertising via mobile devices at at movie theaters.
There are 10 companies that specialize in movie theater advertising. Other out-of-home/guerrilla agencies can also execute campaigns outside of the theater.
How it works
One way for advertisers to add mobile to their theater campaigns is static lobby advertising with elements that become interactive using a smartphone.
This can be used in other out-of-home venues as well, and can include QR codes that bring moviegoers to a branded web site when scanned, or near-field communications (NFC) technology that sends media content to a phone when it physically touches the ad.
Advertisers can also use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to send ads to smartphones when moviegoers enter the lobby. For example, a person whose device is discoverable might receive a text message that includes a mobile coupon for use at the concession stand.
Text message calls-to-action can also be used, either on static ads in the lobby or in on-screen advertising before the movie begins. With this method, smartphone owners send a code to a designated phone number and receive some sort of content in return.
Last year a Sprint campaign tied to the movie “The Amazing Spider-Man” prompted users to text “web” to the number 60602 to access a Sprint site that featured exclusive content. Those who texted “amazing” to 878787 were instantly entered in a sweepstakes.
The ability to target smartphone owners at movie theaters will improve along with technology. Right now advertisers can target smartphone owners at movie theaters in specific zip codes in the top 10 markets.
As tracking methods such as GPS become more common in smartphones, marketers will eventually be able to target all the way down to individual theaters.
Movie theater campaigns can be executed in any market, though most focus on the top 15-20 markets.
There were 1.37 billion movie tickets sold in 2012, according to Nash Information Services, the most since 1.42 billion in 2009.
Sixty-nine percent of moviegoers own a smartphone and 29 percent own a tablet, according to Nielsen. Twenty-three percent own both devices.
Smartphone owners watched an average of 7.4 movies at the theater in 2012, compared to an average of 6.8 films during the year for all moviegoers. Tablet owners saw even more movies, an average of 8.2.
How it is measured
Movie theater attendance data is used to estimate impressions, while mobile campaigns can be tracked by how many people click on a link or interact with an ad.
What product categories work well
Recent or current movie advertisers include cell phones, TV networks, snack foods, soft drinks, auto, telecom, video games and retail.
Among adult moviegoers, 49 percent are male and 51 percent female, according to Scarborough Research.
Twenty-five percent are ages 18-24, 24 percent are 25-34, 21 percent are 35-44, 16 percent are 45-54, 8 percent are 55-64 and 6 percent are age 65 or over.
Fifty-three percent have an annual household income of $50,000 or more, with 37 percent at $75,000 or more, and 21 percent at $100,000 or more.
Making the buy
Typical lead time is four weeks.
Pricing varies depending on the size of the campaign and how many elements are used. Generally CPMs range from $5 to $12, while CPMs for on-screen pre-movie ads range from $15 to $20.
Who’s already advertised at movie theaters
Current or recent brands that have advertised at movie theaters include Sprint, HBO, Dodge, Verizon, E!, Army National Guard, Taco Bell, Showtime, Skittles, Coca-Cola and M&Ms.
What they’re saying
“It’s about activation–connecting the dots from the screen to the actions people are taking. Advertisers like it because they see more bang for their buck in terms of things actually happening.” – Ian Owen-Ward, senior vice president of online and mobile at NCM Media Networks
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