We know Video is the most powerful and ubiquitous advertising medium out there. But Cinema is still the most immersive place to see it.
Big screen advertising and the feature film itself still present producers, marketers and audiences with a special communal experience akin to live theatre. As the British actor Tom Hiddleston says, “You go in as complete strangers, and come out as a community”. While new ways of consuming our media via laptops, tablets and smart phones has changed everything, and provides us all with our own private screening rooms, they cannot substitute the social and emotional connection that ripples across a cinema audience. It is without doubt a special occasion, even if sometimes the film lets you down.
The years of going to the cinema with friends and family also set the seeds of nostalgia for film franchises and the advertising legacies that are inextricably linked. That Pearl & Dean music sampled memorably by Goldbug in 1996, triggers an undeniable emotional response. Star Wars: The Force Awakens to kicked off many a Christmas office party, and witnessed scores of grown men and women, (myself included), weeping in a fit of unabashed, quite un-British, nostalgia. At the film’s dramatic end, One man, resplendent in his retro Star Wars: A New Hope, Episode 4 T-Shirt, stood up to high five his fellow IT colleagues, exclaiming simply, “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
We’ve seen the same Box Office and critical responses of late to other classic franchise revivals with Creed rebooting the original grandeur of Rocky 1 and 2, and Mad Max Fury Rd, from original septuagenarian Director, George Miller.
In an age of countless distractions, nothing beats the cinema’s captive audience. The lights go down, phones are turned off, the surround sound kicks in, and pure escapism washes over you. It’s one of the few moments when customers are happy to be advertised to, and expect their emotions to be charged for the main screening to follow. It provides a wonderful creative opportunity for our industry’s talent and enhances the quality of our output for digital audiences, as the cinema message is conveyed beyond the theatre across mobile devices and traditional media. Nearly 50% of the cinema audience is interested in taking part in brand competitions and events.
Brands certainly do not need to use cinema advertising, nor should they if their audiences are spending more time elsewhere. Perhaps the relevance of their message belongs in print, or via a sponsored App, or across multiple digital channels. But there’s no denying the cachet of big screen advertising for any brand from household names like Guinness, to the power of local targeted advertising, supporting local businesses, screened by independent cinemas like The Clapham Picture House. After all, over 70% of audiences watch the ads before their film and a typical group size is three people. Cinema is social.
No doubt 30 years from now today’s young audiences who love Harry Potter, Twilight or The Hunger Games franchises will revel in the nostalgic glow of a revival of their childhood stories and the associated memories. And that experience would not be complete without some powerful brand messaging to accompany the anticipation of what lies ahead.
(With References from www.dcm.co.uk)