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What opportunity does Cinema represent for UK advertisers?

Investment in Cinema advertising has increased by 40% between 2013 and 2017, securing the medium a 2.2% share of all advertising investment, up from 1.7%. In the same period, TV advertising investment increased by £750M, increasing share from 39.9% to 41.8%, whereas Print posted a significant decline of £1.1BN, dropping 12% points. [1].  This is mainly due to big players such as McDonalds, Amazon or Samsung. But, what opportunity does Cinema represent for UK advertisers?

The number of people going to the cinema each year is on the rise:

  • 5% more people visited a cinema in 2017 than 2014[2]
  • The number of people who go to the cinema every 2 or 3 months increased by 11%[2]
  • 175% more people agreed that cinema ads are what they find the most useful in aiding their decision making[2]
  • Overall, the number of admissions grew from 163m in the 2000s to 169m in the 2010s[3]

This is probably down to the improving quality of cinema experience and the fact that the industry is booming and producing better and better content every year. Cinema is becoming a powerful way for brands to reach broad and valuable audiences.

Cinema works differently to other media for several reasons. People are more attentive, excited, engaged and happy when going to the cinema than when watching TV, listening to Radio, reading press or going on the Internet[4]. According to a Hall & Partners Digital Cinema Media (DCM) engagement study, cinema gave eight times more recall than TV, two times the ad recognition and three times the brand attribution.

All Response Media viewpoint

27% of people agree, or tend to agree, that they go to the cinema on time to watch the adverts and trailers, whilst 39% disagree[5]. Just like any other medium, advertisers have the option to buy spots at a different point before the movie starts (i.e. when 70%, 80%, 90% or 100% of people are seated). The more people seated, the higher the premiums, meaning that this type of advertising might be better suited for brands who have enough budget to allow them to make a real impact.

Fewer chances of double screening and increased attention span are some of the biggest selling points of cinema advertising, but the question is, does that really benefit direct response (DR) advertisers? It has proven to increase brand salience and consideration, however, there are currently very limited studies mentioning direct responsiveness and if CTAs are more likely to slip people’s minds if they don’t get the opportunity to act on it immediately or after watching a whole movie. What cinema does do well, is create positive emotions which make consumers more receptive, allowing brands to really engage with them. This is likely to be more relevant for branding advertisers with big budgets, which is true for the majority of, if not all, brands using the medium.

Cinema has always been a medium that lends itself more to creative/brand campaigns as opposed to performance campaigns. High cost per thousand (CPTs) and high engagement drive low response rates at a high variable cost. However, there is no better environment to showcase your brand than on the big screen with the right creative. Reaching niche audiences with tailored content can be a great way to win awards…just don’t expect it to keep your CFO smiling!

[1] AdDynamix 2018

[2] TGI 2014 & 2017

[3] Rentrak, Cinema Advertising Association Average Annual Admissions per Year by Decade

[4] GB Touchpoints 2016 – Based All Adults; Yahoo 2017

[5] TGI GB 2018 Q2 Jan 2017 – Dec 2017