Media and Movie Magic

-By Florea Nuthall

I love movies. Not only do I love going to the movies, but I also love planning and buying it and will jump at the chance to include it in a media strategy (if it is relevant, of course!).

As a mother of two little ones I don’t get to the cinema as often as I would like to these days. However when I do get to go it’s a total luxury. Are you kidding me – I get to sit down for two hours, eat ice cream and watch something? I normally don’t get to sit down period. That’s why I’m the one still seated and watching the credits to the end once the movie has finished, the lights have come on and everyone has cleared the cinema!

It would be remiss of me in the context of my profession to exclude the ‘sell in’ stats, like:

  • Box office takings are up by 3% year on year
  • According to the latest Standard Media Index (SMI) in April, Cinema and Outdoor were the only mediums to record an increase in revenue, with cinema recording a 49.8% growth
  • 70% of Australians went to the movies last year – it’s one of our most popular cultural activities!

However as a cinema goer and in my current life stage as ‘grocery buyer’ or ‘mum with kids’ I can boldly say that for any brand targeting kids, cinema is THE BEST! This is particularly true during the school holidays. What better place to reach an engaged and receptive audience and connect with parents and their kids at the same time?

Every school holidays I take my son to the movies and you actually need to pre-book tickets to the sessions as they often get full to capacity. I always encounter the same question from clients – do people really turn up in time to watch the pre-show ads and trailers? Hell YES! Because whether it be one child or many, going to the cinema is a planned activity and you always get there early –

a)     To get in line for the candy bar
b)     To get in a toilet stop
c)     To get seated early before the movie starts just in case you need to do b) again

In the world of increased multi-tasking, distracted and attention deficit consumers, Cinema provides an immersive, magical, and uninterrupted environment. Creatively, and in my view, recall of cinema ads work best when the ads are tailored to the medium and viewers. So sometimes it won’t be enough to just transfer your TV ad to the big screen.

Despite the ‘captive audience’ advertisers need to remember that viewers have paid money, and are sitting there waiting to be entertained. Not sold to, but entertained. My all time favourite cinema ad, and when I think about it, it could possibly be my all time favourite ad full stop is this one for Johnny Walker – The Man Who Walked around the World

I love it as it is entertaining through storytelling and a great example of what cinema advertising should be. It goes for over 6 minutes, and in that 6 minutes while it was on the screen, the entire audience in the room was silent. And evidence of its impact? Well, I still remember every bit of that ad and I only saw it once about 5 years ago.

If only the same was true of half the movies I watch!


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