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Why cinema is the heart of advertising – with mobile at its core


By Joe Evea

To truly engage with an audience, it is imperative that brands choose the moment carefully – so it goes today, so it has ever been.

In the modern world, we are confronted with so many digital interactions and noise that it means sometimes engagement loses its core principle: to interact with the target audience on their terms.

In doing so correctly, brands are able to establish a genuine connection with their audiences, which is more likely to result in customer loyalty.

Mobile, above all, arguably offers the most opportunities to satisfy this connectedness – a desire shared by both brands and consumers.

The mobile revolution means valuable content and information is at our fingertips, anywhere and anytime.

So, to be truly valuable, marketers must seek a valid and worthwhile connection with people.

Making the connection
Visibility in a person’s digital life – even two-way interactions with them – does not necessarily mean you have built this connection. This is because time is an ever-decreasing and highly valuable commodity, stolen by the next piece of diverting, digital content.

Ironically, ubiquitous technical connectivity is reducing opportunities for brands to connect emotionally.

The Holy Grail for advertisers is to make an emotional connection with an audience.

By striking an emotional chord with someone, they are more likely to build an affinity with a brand.

Essentially, a connection can only be truly created when a person is ready to receive it – which, coupled with the emotional aspect, is why cinema will remain an important route for brands to engage.

At the cinema, people are primed and in the right frame of mind to engage with a compelling narrative and engage with a range of emotions. They are ready to separate themselves from the modern world and all its distractions.

Indeed, they have paid for the luxury of concentrating.

Under such conditions, a powerful narrative and engagement mechanism can work wonders, helping brands build a deeper connection with global cinemagoers, creating lasting relationships with their core target audience.

Establishing this connection benefits the whole cinema industry, from exhibitors and brands, to producers and distributors.

Turn it on
While mobile may be among the most effective tools to engage audiences, many assume it is sacrilege in a cinema. To an extent, this is true, especially during the main feature.

The film itself must always be treated as sacrosanct. Nonetheless, engaging an audience before and after the films is not disruptive, and can actually help brands harness such opportunities and continue conversations for months after an initial cinema visit, potentially helping to drive further trips to the cinema.

Firstly, it was recently revealed that cinema advertising spend is up 9.4 percent year on year, revenue which is growing faster than television, radio, and print. This figure reflects findings that demand for cinema has never been higher, with admissions already up 6 percent year on year for first quarter, the fourth highest total since 1972.

A strong line-up of blockbusters for the winter suggests the sector shows no signs of stagnation.

Furthermore, research carried out last year found that cinema advertising is the most impactful medium.

Compared to television, cinema advertising secures three times as much brand recall, four times more emotional engagement and eight times as much general impact.

Moving picture
Ultimately, cinema is a special experience: the challenge is to make audiences want to enjoy that experience more frequently, and to spread the word to others.

Connections are sought before attendance even happens, during the experience itself, as well as afterwards – as demonstrated through the likes of Twitter hashtag campaigns.

Mobile is the principal medium to deliver the world of cinema into everyone’s hands by contextualizing the whole cinema experience, rather than just the moment of viewing the film.

Naturally, everyone has different preferences for such value addition, which brands should observe: some wish to connect with a game, some prefer a connection to more information and others will want to connect with others to share opinions.

When it comes to cinema, the growing audience has already arrived, the love of the experience certain, the customer attention ready – and so is “Connected Cinema.”

DIGITAL MEDIA knows no boundaries.

Cultural differences may exist, but the language of technology is universal.

Undoubtedly, Connected Cinema has the power to become a global phenomenon. A global presence suits global brands.

Joe Evea is chief commercial officer of Cinime, London. Reach him at [email protected]