Study Says Theater Spots Deliver Ad Message

Feb 4, 2009  •  Post A Comment

It’s long been said that the best way to sell television is by using television.
Now the Cinema Advertising Council is saying it’s the commercials in movie theaters that have helped cable television networks get viewers to tune in to new programs.
The CAC’s research shows that viewers who saw spots both on television and in theaters were much more likely to get the message than viewers who saw them in just one place or the other.
The CAC, which represents theater owners controlling about 82% of U.S. movie screens, commissioned Integrated Media Measurement Inc. to conduct its research. IMMI uses a unique technology involving specially outfitted cell phones that record the audio signatures of programming and advertising to conduct multiplatform research.
IMMI conducted a six-week study that tracked the behavior of ads promoting three prominent cable television shows. IMMI found that when exposure to the TV ad campaign was combined with exposure to in-theater messages, the odds that the consumer tuned in to the show more than doubled compared with the consumer who saw only the television ad. The combination of television and cinema ads also provided incremental reach and the ability to target key demographics, including people who normally try to avoid advertising.
Specifically, IMMI found that of those exposed to any ad in the study, only 10.1% of those exposed to an ad on television tuned in to the show’s premiere, compared to 22.7% who tuned in to the show’s premiere when exposed via both TV and cinema ads.
The study found 24.7% of the panelists who saw an ad only on TV watched at least one episode of the show being advertised. The tune-in rate increased to 49.5% among panelists who saw ads both on TV and in the theater.
IMMI uses ads for TV shows to measure response rates because its cell phone-like devices can tell whether panelists consume the programs being promoted, creating a single-source research product. But the idea that a combination of media improves response rates should hold up for a variety of products.
“This study proves the power of cinema to positively impact ROI, versus using TV alone,” said Dave Kupiec, chairman and president of the CAC. “There have always been synergies to combining cinema with TV on a client’s media plan. Most marketers view cinema as a ‘network’—one that can provide regional or national reach—and they know that cinema reaches consumers primarily on weekends when TV viewing is at its lowest. Now we have proof that by adding cinema to the media mix, clients will dramatically increase their ROI.”
The IMMI study also found that cinema advertising overdelivers multitasking consumers. Movie ads are 64% more likely to reach consumers who text while watching TV, and movie ads are 25% more likely to grab those who are online while watching.
Cinema advertising also does a strong job reaching people in the 13- to 34-year-old age bracket. Men 13 to 17 are 124% more likely to go to movies than the average individual; men 18 to 24 are 49% more likely.
The study also found that 28% of frequent moviegoers are ad avoiders. Those people are 157% more likely to see an ad in a theater than in other media measured.


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