Cinema advertising : The 70mm impact

Haresh Nayak, Regional Director, Posterscope APAC & MD, Posterscope India, urges marketers to leverage cinema advertising which is growing at 35-40% YOY, faster than online, radio or overall advertising growth

e4m by Haresh Nayak
Published: Jun 9, 2014 8:30 AM  | 4 min read
Cinema advertising : The 70mm impact

Cinema advertising is as old as it gets, who doesn’t remember the OHP slides sliding away as advertisers sell their products, who can forget the Vicco ads. Yes! The medium is old but hasn’t lost its sheen. The medium has only grown and grown to be sophisticated. From single screens to swanky multiplexes, from being a small entertainment dose to being the 100 crores club industry it has only become bigger and better. 2013 marked 100 glorious years of Indian cinema. India has the world’s largest film industry in terms of number of films produced and the ticket size but ranks significantly lower in revenues numbers compared to other major markets.

The industry which has suffered in last few years is expected to grow at approximately 9 per cent yearly and reach around US$2.8 billion by 2015. The industry as a whole is on road of incremental progression with expansion of multiplex chains,  increased digitization leading to wider and quicker releases, new revenue models through direct to home releases, increase in over the top consumption channels as well as film using social networks and innovative marketing formats to garner consumer response.

Over the past three years, ad revenues have doubled for almost every major theatre chain in India, hitting a total of roughly Rs 250 crore in 2010-11. This is over a fifth of what advertisers spent on radio and a third of their online ad spends in the same period. At a 35-40 per cent rise year-on-year, cinema advertising is growing faster than online, radio or overall advertising growth, where the annual growth is about 11 per cent.

The Indian Cinema Journey

The medium continued to hold its ad pie share of 0.5 per cent vis-à-vis year 2010. There are various reasons that are being associated with marketers taking the medium more seriously. The basic reason is the nature of the medium. It catches the audience when it is completely dedicated to the medium. Ad films get screened exactly at the position advertisers want them, be it just before the censor rating certificate or right into the interval. Because of the medium witnessing a number of on-ground activities, it is being noticed that the number of active advertiser screens are also increasing. A lot is happening in Tier II and III cities. They are being seen as emerging markets. Every hall receives a footfall of 6 lakh to 9 lakh in a year. Advertisers can no more afford to avoid this chunk of potential consumers.

About 3.5-4 billion movie tickets are sold in India every year. That means every Indian goes to a theatre 3.5 times year. Movie theatre ads have reach. They always had. However, three things conspired to make cinema more appealing to advertisers. Most consumers in over-served media markets like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, etc, get hit with huge amounts of advertising on TV, print and other media. If you live in any of the top 10-12 cities, you probably screen out ads automatically. In a dark theatre, however, you are easy prey. You have to switch off your mobile. There are no doorbells, colleagues, other media, nothing to take your attention away from the screen. You have probably paid Rs 100-400 to watch a film. All this makes you a coveted target.

The growth of cinema in terms of being a preferred medium for advertisers is funded by national players like Samsung, Hero, L’Oreal and the like and not much by local players. Thus although old the cinema still offers abundant opportunities, but to make most of it we also need to pull up our socks. Let’s us say goodbye to those old OHP slides and TV ads simply rendered for cinema and think specifically for the medium. We at Posterscope devised an innovation that would create urge and need of insuring the car at the moment. We chose a multiplex for this being a captive environment. For the very first time in India, we created a bespoke ad where a person onscreen interacted with patrons in the audience. The person on the screen invited a familiar face from the audience to join him on screen. He walks from his seat and appears on-screen and ask to login HDFC Ergo site and fill-in car details with online payment in his mobile phone. Once he gets message confirmation he walks back into the auditorium and takes his seat to watch the movie. This created excitement amongst the audience, inducing the urge to do online car insurance. Within two days, the activity generated 75 leads for the client. The activity was shot & made viral on the client’s website and gained more mileage. So far there have been 717,426 views of the video.

So ‘Old is Gold’ and in this case it is getting better by the day, so do make most of this 70mm impact.

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