Case study: The engagement medium

In today’s fragmented media landscape, multi-tasking and ad avoidance behaviours are redefining how media is consumed, becoming an increasing concern for advertisers across all media channels. One medium bucks the trend though: cinema advertising.

Multi-tasking and ad avoidance behaviours are both redefining how media is consumed and becoming an increasing concern for advertisers across all media channels in today’s increasingly fragmented landscape.

Val Morgan chief executive Damian Keogh says the challenge is for media buyers, strategists and advertisers to look beyond reach and frequency, and think about the real viewing environment and in turn the true value of the media they are using.

Cinema advertising offers unrivalled impact, and its unique ability to deeply engage with a captive and highly attentive audience in a unique environment sets it apart from the rest of the media game. In a cinema, viewers can’t change channels, nor can they pre-record or fast-forward through the ads. A new study from Australia Online Research shows cinema advertising delivers six times the impact and engagement of the same advertising delivered on television.

Val Morgan marketing director Paul Butler outlines the key results of this research.

“Cinema audiences are six times more likely to recall key aspects of advertising than television audiences,” he says. “Effectively, this demonstrates cinema advertising generates six times the ad memory and six times the engagement of TV.”

advantages of cinema advertisingThe study found virtually all cinema audience members were present for the advertising pre-show, while for television audiences, ad avoidance and multi-tasking behaviour was the norm.

“These results show cinema has a key role to play in amplifying an advertiser’s screen strategy, delivering engagement, impact and cut-through at a level that no other media can match,” says Butler.

To add to the already impressive list of opportunities cinema has to offer, Val Morgan is developing a range of new tools set to revolutionise the cinema medium, making cinema easier to plan, buy and measure.

With increasing digitisation, the flexibility and ease with which ads can be transferred to the big screen is changing exponentially. With the D-Day for a completed digital transition fast approaching, brands and agencies alike can look forward to minimised production costs and timings reduced to a two-to-three day turnaround. These changes open up huge opportunities for advertisers to capitalise on cinema’s unique benefits, with increased flexibility, faster speed-to-market and greater creative opportunities.

Around half of all frequent cinemagoers are also light TV viewers, making cinema a medium that is well-suited and complementary to television campaigns. Especially considering moviegoers are an affluent audience – one that’s typically been elusive for television – and has money to spend.

Understanding how cinema complements other channels will soon be made much easier in the New Zealand market. Roy Morgan Research is developing a cinema inclusion in its Media Planner software, which will enable advertisers to run, for the first time, combined cinema and television schedules to look at the incremental reach cinema can add to TV buys.

Box office numbers are a key indicator of the strength of cinema and 2012 has been a standout year. Collectively, the year’s top releases – The Avengers ($8.8m at the box office), The Dark Knight Rises ($5.6m), The Hunger Games ($5.8m) and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ($5.3m) – have been seen by more than two million New Zealanders.

“Cinema is looking more and more appealing to advertisers against a background of growing media fragmentation and advertising avoidance,” says Natasha O’Connor, sales director at Val Morgan.

“An amazing line up of blockbusters on the horizon, coupled with opportunities for substantial savings and increased flexibility through the digital roll-out, there has never been a more compelling time to add cinema to the media mix.”


Natasha O’Connor,

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