By Phil Contrino
Fresh on the heels of the Cinema Advertising Council's (CAC) report that total cinema advertising industry revenues of CAC members-which account for more than 82 percent of U.S. movie screens-grew by 5.8 percent in 2008, industry professionals are already looking to the future.
"In recessions you usually have a spike in moviegoing, because it's still relatively inexpensive and very entertaining. The key question is, 'Do we capitalize on it through the advertising marketplace?' It doesn't necessarily mean that ad dollars flow behind audience attendance, but luckily for us in this environment cinema is thriving and the ad dollars are following the audience attendance, which is great," says Mike Chico, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Screenvision.
As the report shows, cinema advertising is a way to reach audiences that more and more companies are waking up to.
"One of the things that we're very successful with this year in terms of driving revenue is we got into the upfront marketplace with several large agencies, and that's helped drive a lot of business," says Chico. "We've also had really good spikes in our retail business and our packaged good business. Import autos is very strong, as is our wireless category."
New trends are developing in the world of cinema advertising, and they will drastically change the way advertisers reach moviegoers.
"The emergence of more and more 3D films has sparked an interest in 3D advertising, so there's some testing going on in that area. It's still very much at its early stages. It's another way to make the pre-show more engaging," says Dave Kupiec, president and chairman of the CAC.
"There are also new technologies that are coming into the lobby space," adds Kupiec. Mobile programs, 3D screens, interactive touch screens and texting games will soon be available to more moviegoers across the country before they enter the actual theater.