More and more marketers are looking at cinema advertising as a means to tout their products.
The cinema advertising industry grew by 20.6% to nearly $528 million in 2005 compared to nearly $438 million in 2004, according to a recent report by the Cinema Advertising Council (CAC). The CAC report, to be released today, includes revenue data from on screen advertising—commercials that air before movie previews and the movie—and off-screen revenue (audio programming, sampling, special events, concession-based and lobby-based promotions).
Some of the reasons behind the ongoing growth is that more advertisers are accepting in-cinema advertising as a marketing tactic coupled with the emergence of digital projection, Robert E. Martin, president and chairman of the CAC, said. Advertisers are looking for more entertainment ways to promote their products before a captivated audience in the theater environment, he said.
“We have an audience that is paying attention, we have a screen that is enormous,” Martin said. “From our standpoint, the issue is never to get the attention of the audience because we have the full attention of the audience. The issue has been to make sure [the content] is compelling to the movie-going experience.”
On-screen advertising revenue dominated the category, with revenue increase 21.2% in 2005 to about $453 million compared to $373.5 million in 2004, according to the CAC. Off-screen advertising revenue, including in-lobby and other promotions, rose 17.6% in 2005 to $75.2 million up from nearly $64 million in 2004.
During 2004 and 2005, top marketers, including Old Navy, Hewlett Packard, America Express and Circuit City have targeted moviegoers off the big screen through promotion. For example, American Express launched an integrated campaign with actor Robert DeNiro to promote the Tribeca Film Festival with slides and branded popcorn bags. Other off-screen tactics include banner ads, in-lobby posters and sampling.
Total cinema advertising revenues for CAC members in 2005 soared 23% to $470.5 million, up from $382.5 million in 2004, accounting for more than 76% of U.S. movie screens, the CAC said. Estimated revenue generated from cinema advertising by non-CAC members rose slightly from $57.4 million in 2005 to $55.5 million on 2004, the CAC said.
Real Estate, restaurants, auto dealerships, professional devices, and government/ educational institutions topped the list of regional and local advertising categories. Advertising categories that emerged in 2005 were: car rental companies, photography, zoos, home products, flying clubs and sports complexes.
For 2006 and beyond, Martin predicts robust growth for in-theater advertising. In addition, more brands will pair their products with theaters via in-theater events to extend the experience, he said.
The CAC, founded in 2003, serves cinema advertising sellers, the theatrical exhibition community and businesses.