If you have been to the movies in the past couple of years, you will have noticed that cinema advertising has taken off like Iron Man chasing a super villain.
Out of home advertising, of which cinema is a part, has had eight consecutive quarters of growth according to the Outdoor Association of America. National Cinemedia (NCM), the nation's largest cinema advertising company, is up 6.3% for the first six months of 2012 (or plus $167 million for those of you counting).
The growth, in part, can be attributed to an increase in digital technology. In the last couple of years, major theater chains have made the switch from analog to digital projection systems. This has allowed for the growth of pre-show presentations that seamlessly integrate advertising and content.
So cinema advertising is no longer the static slide of a local sandwich shop showing a grainy picture of some bad food while elevator music plays in the background. Now cinema advertising is playing full to extended length commercials. These spots are sent out over a digital satellite network and can be up and running on thousands of screens across the country instantaneously.
Past research has shown a higher rate of likability and recall for cinema advertising versus television. NCM recently completed a five-year study using Nielsen’s web based panel technology. This study showed that using cinema advertising in combination with television significantly raises brand recall, message recall and likeability. This study gives the medium some chops.
Bigger advertisers have taken notice and it's rumored that Samsung has now run the largest cinema advertising effort in the U.S. touted to be over $20 million in support of their Galaxy S III. Telecom, automotive, package goods, health & beauty categories are now represented and growing.
So if you are trying to reach a younger, educated, affluent consumer who is forced to actually turn off that cell phone, then cinema advertising might be worth a look. So get to the movies a little early next time and see for yourself how digital has revolutionized another medium.