CYBERTORIAL: ‘Back to the Future’ was the theme of Screen Advertising World Association’s (SAWA) annual showcase of cinema advertising innovation at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2014. The theme was in honour of the imminent key year of 2015 that featured in all three films of the trilogy – a year that is also predicted to be the biggest year in box office history.
As 2015 approaches, a pivotal year when it comes to futuristic awakenings, there is certainly no better time to use cinema medium’s portal to the future – the cinema big screen – to showcase innovation.
Indeed, innovations are often imagined in films before they evolve into real life technology. Just think of all of the magical gadgets and technologies that have featured over the decades including interactive driving maps, handheld communicators, swipeable surfaces and voice controlled computers, seen for the first time in films such as James Bond, Star Trek and Minority Report as well as adverts by companies such as General Motors, Samsung, Microsoft and Apple. It’s cinema that brought these technologies to life.
“It is evident that technological innovation is radically driving cinema to be a highly competitive contender in the media landscape,” says Cinemark’s marketing manager, Yvonne Diogo. “The innovations discussed at the SAWA Seminar in Cannes are a preview to what will eventually hit home. In light of these trends, the challenge is put to creatives and brands within the South African context to start imagining epic brand stories that can be translated to the big screen. There is potential for linking brands stories to feature films, whether it is 007 sipping a beer rather than a martini or Transformers promoting Chinese energy drinks. It is an opportunity for creatives to rethink what advertising can be for the cinema.”
SAWA’S showcase this year saw Digital Cinema Media’s (DCM) head of planning and knowledge, Blackett Ditchburn, as the first speaker when he paid tribute to the two key years from the BTTF films: 1955 – the year television started taking attention from cinemas, and 1985 – when email took off, pointing to the disruptive potential of the internet.
Yet Ditchburn saw a bright future for cinema advertising as it embraced new technologies and integrated campaigns with a variety of platforms, while maintaining the highest impact of any advertising medium.
Key sponsor Yummi Media was next on stage, showcasing an innovative and unique SAWA Cinime app prepared just for the Cannes Lions. Attendees used the app to test their driving skills against a professional driver on a pre-recorded lap, in an interactive advert for BMW. The top 10 winners got a chance to ride in the BTTF DeLorean.
As AJ Simpson said in the Lions Daily News, the two major industries that have traditionally told us to turn our phones off — airlines and cinema — are now wise to the fact that mobile technology can play a serious part in the overarching experience. In terms of cinema, this evolved technology can make the preshow experience more engaging and rewarding.
Yummi’s Adam Campbell then introduced the classic Hollywood Squares television quiz show, rebooted for the big screen and with audience interaction via the Cinime app and developed together with Group M Entertainment. In a film knowledge battle against industry professionals about movie trivia and facts, audience members that answered enough questions right got to take home a small golden statuette looking remarkably like an annual film award.
Moving next to the United States, the president of sales and marketing of the world’s largest cinema advertising company, National CineMedia’s (NCM) Cliff Marks, showed how the company was engaging with the ‘millennials’ through their mobile phones during the pre-show.
Following Marks’ engaging presentation, a truly futuristic technology was showcased, brought to the stage by an inspiring cinema campaign. Karen Bryson and Emad Tahtouh from Australian multi-Lion winning creative agency, Finch, showed how a robotic arm copied the handwriting of an Australian teenager suffering from the muscular degenerative disease DMD. The robotic arm wrote a petition list for greater funding based on people connecting with it through social media.
Guy Hawley from Dolby Laboratories talked about the next generation of cinema technologies, particularly immersive audio, with over 140 titles already confirmed in Dolby Atmos.
Last to the stage was frequent SAWA contributor Julian Pinn, who was presenting is year on behalf of Werbe Weischer, the German cinema advertising giant. Pinn looked ahead to the cinema year 2015, which includes such highly anticipated films such as Star Wars: Episode VII, Avengers: Age of Ultron, James Bond 24, the new Fantastic Four, Assassin’s Creed and many more.
A wonderful conclusion to an array of amazing presentations, the point is clear: In 2015 cinema is taking the world back to the future.
Watch the SAWA Seminar here:
Established in 1971, Cinemark is a premiere advertising sales company representing Ster-Kinekor and select independent cinemas. Initially founded through a tri-company merger, Cinemark was subsequently bought by Primedia, one of the largest media players in South Africa. It provides a platform for advertisers to utilise the cinema medium for marketing, based on the fact that it is a medium that boasts high visual impact and evocative sound, engaging attentive and captive audiences while they are in a relaxed and receptive mood.
The company was ranked third in the Best Overall Ranking Media Owner at the 2012 MOST Awards, moving up from its 17th place ranking in 2011 – tribute to its growing success as well as the commitment and dedication by its team.
As well as offering creative and cost-effective on screen and alternative packages, Cinemark represents 61.5% of South African cinema audiences, 63.8% of South African cinema complexes and 61.7% of South African cinema screens.
Cinemark is proud of its long association with the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and acts as the local representative for the event. In addition to this, each year Cinemark conducts the South African Young Lions competition, searching for young creatives and talented individuals who are given the opportunity to attend the annual festival.
Cannes Lions has local representatives across the globe for the festival brand, and in South Africa Cinemark is proud to play this role, encouraging involvement with the competition and inspiring innovation in advertising.
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