Get in Front of Your Audience With Cinema Advertising

    Cinema Advertising
    Cinema Advertising

    Advertisements and cinema have gone hand-in-hand for decades… in fact, cinema had barely been invented and the ads were already pouring in. People are creative that way. If there’s room for an ad, you can bet that someone is trying to put one there. Today’s cinema advertising is a far cry from the cheesy-but-charming jingles about getting snacks from the lobby, though. As advertising has become more sophisticated, the cinema hasn’t been left out.

    As the world adapts to post-pandemic reality, crowds are slowly returning to the theaters. It was a tough couple of years, but people are ready to get back out there. That also means it’s an incredible opportunity to get your ads in front of a public that’s starved for interaction. A savvy advertiser can capitalize on this by putting their ads right on the screen while the audience waits for the movie to start.

    A Cinema Advertising Primer

    Cinema advertising doesn’t begin and end with what audiences see on screen before the movie. As a popular form of out-of-home advertising, it can take many surprising and eye-catching forms.

    • Video Ads

    These are a lot like the commercials you see on TV and are familiar to anyone who’s waiting for a movie to start. When people think of “cinema advertising,” this is the kind most people think of.

    • Slideshow Ads

    Another regular on the big screen, slideshow ads may be silent, narrated, or have background music. The main idea is that they’re still pictures rather than videos.

    • Kiosk Ads

    Self-service movie theater kiosks are another great place to put advertisements. You’ll often find them in a theater lobby and can have either static or digital advertisements.

    • LED Screen Ads

    Many modern cinemas have screens almost everywhere, not just in the theaters. These offer an array of options for digital advertising on the many smaller screens located throughout the premises.

    • Standee Ads

    You’ve probably seen these sizeable free-standing cardboard monuments. They resemble larger-than-life posters and serve as static displays.

    A Local Touch

    Local and regional advertising excel in the cinema environment. 20 miles is the magic number; 95% of moviegoers will travel 20 miles to see a movie, and most local businesses attract customers within about a 20-mile radius. This hyper-local focus is a recipe for success.

    This makes it very easy to plan your advertising around easily-understood demographics. Compare this with television, where you’re eight times less likely to stand out from your competitors. You’re also three times more likely to be remembered even from an unbranded still picture compared to being on television.

    People who go to the movies want to be there. They’ve planned their time around it and are invested in the experience… and that means they’re expecting those ads. It also means that, unlike streaming services where you can skip ads, they’re four times more likely to be engaged. Advertising on television can be a significant part of your marketing strategy, but it’s not all roses.

    Pros and Cons

    Speaking of not everything being roses, the same can be said of cinema advertising. For all of its benefits, there is no perfect solution that works for everyone. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of cinema advertising.


    • Distraction-free Environment

    They’re already in the theater and just waiting for the movie to start. They’re a captive audience who will likely see your ad repeatedly as they wait. They’re also less likely to be annoyed because your ad isn’t interrupting anything they were already doing.

    • Big Screen Glamor

    Never underestimate the advantage of being on the big screen. Everything is more impressive when it’s on a theater screen, including your ads. It adds an extra sense of importance and significance to your business.

    • Targeted Demographics

    Your local cinema’s regional appeal means you can dial in your preferred demographics and capitalize on consumer info like location, age, and gender.


    • Price

    All those perks come at a cost. A lot of factors go into determining the price of your advertising, such as how many screens you want your ad to appear on. The length of the ad itself is important in determining price as well.

    • Being Forgotten

    After being immersed in an engaging story, some people will simply not remember the ads that came beforehand. And, while some will get seated early, others may wait in the lobby until the last second and miss the ads entirely.

    • Missing the Mark

    Horror fans, little kids, adventure junkies, and romantics flock to the theater to see a story they’ll love. Your ad may simply play better to some of these audiences than others.

    Down in Front

    Cinema advertising can be a potent player in your marketing strategy. Highly local demographics and a captive, primed audience can make cinema advertising an ideal solution for your business.

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