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Cinema’s Stealthy Overtake in The Digital Marketing World

Written by: Maggie Robinson, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Did you know that cinema is now set to become the fastest-growing advertising channel out there? Above even digital, which is currently where all of the focus and lot of the spend is. It might seem a little left field to suggest businesses consider cinema advertising in their marketing plans, but there is a good reason for it.


Now, we know cinema is a difficult topic to discuss – numbers allowed in an auditorium have been capped and families are doing their best to simulate the experience with widescreen TVs, streaming services and blanket forts. But we want to talk about it anyway, because, even with reduced visitor numbers, your business could massively benefit from cinema advertising, and I want to show you how.


The Beauty of the Captive Audience


The first and most important thing a cinema can give you is a captive audience. Not just a captive audience, but one that is so well-defined, you would struggle to find anything similar out there. Cinema advertising provides a carefully selected environment and close targeting for advertisers. This is because cinemas know their customers intimately, with a combination of their own collected data sets and data they are given freely by the customer.


Their entire business model is persona-driven. They have a name for every different type of cinemagoer out there, and they can sort them demographically and according to their emotional wants and preferences. They can also segment by things like interest, family make-up and affluence in a way no other business can dream of. And they can pass this information on to advertisers. On top of that, this audience of well-defined cinemagoers are in a safe, secluded space where their full attention is on the screen before them, all of which adds into the melting pot of triggers that can cause them to buy.


Lack of Distraction


You may have considered film and TV as an option for advertising already – maybe seen the advantages of having that well-defined audience that just so happens to intersect with your customer base. But then, why wouldn’t you opt to advertise on one of the streaming services (the few that allow advertising that is), which have exploded in popularity in the last few years. Well, the simple answer is that streaming viewers are often distracted. Programs are put on in the background, conversations are happening, the doorbell is ringing, and the smartphone is always in their hands. If not multiple somethings, there is always something else, vying for their attention, which makes it a very ineffective medium for getting your message to really sink in.


Cinemas, on the other hand, are an occasion. You have to make an effort to go to the cinema, and you are much more focussed on the enormous floor-to-ceiling screen in front of you. Plus, cinemas impose strict rules on not using your phone (which is really obvious if you break), and viewers are very accustomed to the switch off. This creates an environment with no phones and no noise, so an ad trailer's impact can be much bigger than it is on TV. Research from top cinema advertising agencies states that 95% of ad copy shown in cinemas is also shown on TV, yet 85% of cinemagoers think that the average cinema advert is unique. This shows that viewers are much more receptive to the cinema's messaging, and it's much more likely to sink in than if it was shown elsewhere.


Data Distrust


Of course, there is one more reason why brands would choose to advertise in a more traditional medium than online, and that’s data. We live in a time where consumers are more aware than ever of what happens with their data, and this makes them very wary of what they interact with online. Consumers are reticent to interact with digital ads, so much so that the digital ad space is only predicted to grow 10% in 2021 (the lowest since 2001), and the competition for that limited attention is fierce. Add in the worries about fake news, extremist content and sophisticated data thieves, and digital advertising has never been a more difficult place to be. Cinemas have none of this danger for customers, which means they are much more receptive to advertising and interacting with it – knowing they don’t need to worry about any potential data theft or selling.


Cinema has a unique ability to penetrate the world's noise and the constant barrage of branding we experience every day, and instead provide a safe space for viewers. The opportunity this presents businesses is huge – and definitely one that merits considering. If you’re looking for new ways to advertise your business and get real results from your campaign, there are far worse options than cinema advertising. If you want to know more about how advertising in a cinema would work, and how you would go about it, just get in touch with us today for your free consultation.


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Maggie Robinson, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Maggie Robinson is the founder of Smart Thinking Consultancy and works with businesses across the UK, supporting their digital and traditional marketing needs.

Maggie’s all-round approach allows businesses to benefit from her knowledge and experience of all aspects of marketing, rather than being tied to just one activity.

From website health checks to Google ads, brand awareness to marketing campaigns, Smart Thinking Consultancy can help your business achieve its goals. Whether you need one-off assistance with a single aspect of your marketing or a full, cohesive strategy, Maggie has the knowledge and experience you need.

Maggie is a former South West board member and current Fellow at the Chartered Institute of Marketing. She has worked with well-known household brands as well as many small to medium-sized companies.

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