Cinema advertising: how brands can cut through the clutter


As the old saying goes, timing is everything. This is especially true with marketing, but rarely are there opportunities for brands to have access to a consumer’s undivided attention.

Chase Clemens, Account Executive at KISS, writes:

How often are we distracted by our phones or social media? It takes ‘outside the box’ thinking for brands to cut through the clutter and create an experience that people will remember. 

The cinema is an increasingly important advertising channel because it’s an environment where audiences are immersed by the content on the screen. The advertisements before the main feature are highly targeted: a study by DCM found that 87% of the cinema audience are exposed to ads because people intentionally get to the cinema early to view the trailers for upcoming films and are in their seats ready and waiting. 

Away from distractions, the cinema leads to strong levels of recognition for creative executions - otherwise people are often juggling multiple devices or are on their phones while watching TV, especially during ad breaks. This is why cinema advertising is eight times more effective at making brands stand out than TV - people in the DCM study recalled 13% of the ads they had seen in the cinema compared to just 1.6% on TV. That’s why brands are finding a higher ROI with cinema advertising and their spend in the UK increased by 8.4% in 2016 with an estimated 12.6% in 2017.

There is also evidence that suggests people like the ads they see in the cinema more than other mediums. According to the DCM survey, most people go to the theatre for mental space, making cinemagoers more relaxed and receptive - and 69% of cinema viewers were able to describe the ads they’d seen compared to just 26% on TV. Their answers were more detailed and used additional adjectives than their descriptors of the TV ads. 

Timing is important, but speaking to the right audiences who have a relevant need for a brand’s product is the other part of the equation that influences purchasing behaviour - cinema advertising can effectively reach these targeted demographics and psychographics.

The strength of cinema advertising, is an interesting insight and highlights the importance of delivering content that resonates in the right place and at the right time. An integral part of our approach to strategy is understanding the right audience, the relevant touch points on their brand journey, and what they’re doing when they see an ad – all of which allows brands to reach people when they will be the most receptive to the content. This makes it possible to create a memorable experience that people will recall and engage with.

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KISS is the creative agency that clarifies the complex.