Last weekend I attended the local multiplex to see Ted (which disappointed me, too few laughs and not enough made of the unique central premise). Arriving at the scheduled time I then had to sit through more than 30mins of advertising. This has been a typical cinema going experience for some time and it continues to frustrate me. It’s true that some cinema advertising is creative and fairly entertaining to watch but there is simply too much of it and as a regular cinema goer I tend to see the same adverts over and over again. It is starting to put me off the cinema experience completely, at least at the big chains which seems to be the worst offenders in this regard (some of the smaller chains keep the advertising to a minimum).
I was curious to know what impact this advertising has on the chains bottom line, is the potential negative impact on customer experience worth it?
Cineworld are one of the largest chains in the UK and it was reading their financial report that I found that an organisation called Digital Cinema Media accounts for 80% of UK cinema advertising (including Odeon and VUE cinemas in addition to Cineworld). Cineworld state that “screen advertising accounts for a significant proportion of the Group’s profits… The formation of Digital Cinema Media Limited in 2008, with a joint venture partner, was a positive step towards taking closer control of future screen advertising revenues. The advantages of screening advertisements to a captive audience in cinemas and the flexibility of digital media to deliver more and varied advertising are potential opportunities to attract more advertisers and to generate higher revenues.” The financial report does not specify revenue from advertising in 2011 but states it was a major element of “other income” which totalled 24.3million pounds.
The Digital Cinema Media site makes the case for cinema advertising. It talks about a captive audience that is engaged and views the cinema as an event thus fostering a positive environment for advertising. I am sure all of that is true and I would agree that in moderation it is especially effective however I wonder if the effectiveness is diluted by the sheer quantity of advertising.
The site includes some interesting top ten lists for advertisers and categories of advertising.