An abundance of evidence has shown a solid and undeniable fact: cinema advertising is highly effective in the advertising media mix. By analysing South Africa’s MovieMinds and collating the information in the 2014 Cinema Advertising Effectiveness Report, the results are overwhelmingly positive for cinema and cinema advertising campaigns.
The research, made of mixed methodology using quantitative and qualitative survey questions, looked at Ster-Kinekor’s MovieMinds online insight community over the period of 26 February to 10 March 2014. The geographic scope included the entire country. The sample profile included 56% of males and 44% of females, while 82% made up the LSM 8 – 10 bracket. The majority of respondents were under the age of 39 with 45% being black, 37% white, 12% coloured and 6% Indian.
The fact that only 3% of cinema-goers intentionally arrive after the adverts are finished was one of the most striking elements to the evidence. This shows that cinema adverts are not avoided, unlike television adverts that are often synonymous with toilet runs, snack stockpiling, Facebook skimming and chats. Television adverts also often give viewers a gap to flick channels. Cinema advertising, on the other hand, is enjoyed far more than any other form of advertising. This is due to the ‘wow’ factor that is owed to the big sound and big screen along with the fact that there are no interruptions, no distractions and that these adverts are, in general, far more captivating. In fact the research shows that 27% of respondents thoroughly enjoy cinema adverts while 46% of them simply enjoy watching them.
What’s more is that cinema takes first place when it comes to holding more attention than adverts in any other media. 72% of cinema goers pay attention to the screen while advertising is taking place while only 60% of viewers pay attention to television adverts and less than 50% in other media. Phenomenally 46% of cinema-goers have bought or investigated a product or service directly as a result of a cinema advert.
In terms of influencing behaviour, TV adverts rank slightly higher but it is important to remember that a large part of the impact is due to repetition. Cinema, on the other hand, has found that while repetition can be effective, it does encourage avoidance such as channel hopping, leaving the room or focusing on something else. It can also cause irritation and resentment, which is then transferred to the marketed product. Cinema also ranks second in terms of influence. Crucially, 49% of respondents feel that cinema would be more effective and 35% feel it would be equally effective when it comes to an advert that is viewed on both the cinema and television platform.
Resounding is the fact that two-thirds of cinema goers ensure that they are seated in time to watch all aspects, including the adverts. In reality, some do arrive later and do miss all or some adverts but most have seen the adverts in at least three of the last five occasions that they have been to the cinema. 66% of respondents stated that they prefer to go into the theatre on time so that they can see all of the adverts and trailers before the movie, with the consensus being that the adverts and trailers are part and parcel of the whole cinema-going experience. These adverts, respondents said, are lapped up with whole-hearted concentration.
It is the humorous adverts that gain the most attention, the research showed, as well as the importance of exciting and interesting adverts and catchy soundtracks. Dominating adverts included Cell C and Coca-Cola while Jameson, Absolut Vodka, Johnnie Walker and KFC were also prominent. Some of the comments respondents shared around adverts included that ads are better and more graphic on the big screen, are exciting to watch, are part of the movie experience and have the capacity to put people in a good mood.
Interestingly, when it comes to cinema adverts compared to other media adverts, TV was fairly competitive but newspaper, radio and mobile phone lagged behind considerably. More importantly, no forms of media were liked more than cinema overall. This is because viewers prefer a short burst of ads before the entertainment starts, rather than a constant stream of interruptions throughout their viewing experience.
Most importantly, it was found that cinema grabs attention considerably more effectively than other forms of media, most of which allow ample means of escape from the message. This is particularly strong amongst the younger groups, black and lower LSM participants which all reported very high levels of attention to cinema ads.
Yvonne Diago is marketing manager of Cinemark.
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