Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Movie Units

You know those slideshows they show before the coming attractions at the movie theater? The combination of movie trivia questions, exhortations not to use your cell phone -- but to buy popcorn and soda pop -- and poorly design adverts for local businesses? Ever notice how the ads are almost relegated to businesses that are decidedly unrelated to the movie-going experience? Chiropractors and ophthalmologists, auto body-repair shops, and the like?

Every time I see them, I ask myself, "Who can possibly run a business selling these crappy ads?"

Turns out, cinema advertising is a relatively big business -- and one that's getting bigger. Today's MediaDailyNews featured an article about the forthcoming expansion of National CineMedia and Screenvision.

The drivers? As more movie theaters begin to show digital movies instead of traditional film, the ability to easily and efficiently incorporate pre-screen ads increases exponentially. And with the continuing consolidation of widespread movie theater chains and multiplexes, the ability to hit thousands of people with the same messages increases, as well.

Still, couldn't they do a better job? Perhaps these two trends will help cinema advertisers attract higher-quality national advertisers in addition to the mom and pop shops within walking distance. Because for this to really work, you need more than "Bring in your ticket stub for 10% off the Growler!" or whatever.

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