In-cinema advertising revenues are around Rs 850 crores: Siddharth Bhardwaj, UFO Moviez

Bhardwaj, CMO - Head of Enterprise Sales, UFO Moviez on the market for in-cinema advertising, their rural-advertising initiative Caravan Talkies and more

Indian digital cinema distribution network and an in-cinema advertising platform, UFO Moviez India Limited has recently been in the news for its merger with Qube Cinema Technologies. Siddharth Bhardwaj, Chief Marketing Officer - Head of Enterprise Sales, UFO Moviez recently chatted with exchange4media on the market for in-cinema advertising, their rural-advertising initiative Caravan Talkies and more.



On the major factors that contribute to the growth of in-cinema advertising, Bhardwaj opined that cinema is a medium which helps brands differentiate from each other because of its larger than life nature. “Today there are many AV mediums which brands can use to generate awareness. Television works beautifully to create awareness for the brand but beyond that creating special love for the brand and bringing the brand into the consideration set is where most mediums fail. This is where cinema advertising comes into the picture,” he said.

“Before digitization, cinema advertising was only happening across 300-400 screens in the country where movies were released. With the scale and the mass audience digitization has brought, brands have an avenue to build on their brand love/differentiation scores by using mass medium with the option of using all 9,000,” he continued.

On the market size of in-cinema advertising he said, “Cinema should be Rs 850 crores in revenue. As per our reported number, we should be around 220-230 crore which is a substantial share from the overall cinema spends in the country.”

Caravan Talkies, a rural advertising initiative by UFO Moviez has empowered the arena of rural advertisement by creating high brand recall. Bhardwaj contended that it has stemmed from the very little entertainment options that exist in rural India. “The thought of Cinema on Wheels-Caravan Talkies came up to bring the joy of cinema to these areas. Through the day, the van is parked in the most prominent marketplace where people do their daily work. In the evening, when the sun goes down, there is a sun-down movie show that happens which is free of cost,” he shared.

When we quizzed him on how they make money out of this, he opened up that the activity is largely funded by brands. “The man-power deployed is used to do activations for the brands and there are activities undertaken for the brands which sponsor the van. There are brand commercials aired during movie breaks and free sampling opportunities which helps brands get a positive rub-off,” he said.

Speaking about the way forward for the company, he said that the merger with Qube Cinema Technologies would be of essence. “These are exciting times for cinema. Since we form a large part of cinema as an industry, it’s exciting to be a major driving force in the medium. As you’re aware, we announced a merger with our closest competitor Qube which is on the cards. If all comes through, in couple of months we will be one organization. It will give great opportunity for brands to reach out to Pan-India audience. I don’t see any other medium which gives this kind of disproportionate reach to brands that is as national as it can get and can be as local as it can be. We now have opportunity to take this medium to the next level. If in-cinema advertising keeps growing at this pace, we would be soon Rs 2,000 crores, which will be very close to what radio does,” shared Bhardwaj.

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