SYDNEY: Advertisers looking to reach Australia's large Indian and Chinese communities are reported to be showing great interest in a new cinema-based multicultural marketing opportunity.

The Val Morgan Cinema Network, which represents over 1600 cinema screens across Australia, recently launched a specific program, Access Asia, to take advantage of the growing popularity of films originating from the movie industries of these two countries, Ad News reported.

"In the last 12 months, the Chinese movie box office market in Australia has doubled and ticket sales to Bollywood movies have increased by over 60%," said Cally Scivetti, marketing and strategy director at Val Morgan.

She pointed to strong performances from two recent films – Bollywood blockbuster "Sultan" and China's highest grossing movie ever, "Mermaid" – as evidence of the trend.

And Reg Raghavan, executive director of the Red Elephant multicultural marketing agency that helped develop the program, observed that "the story of the 2016 ABS Census will be the high growth of Indian/South Asian and Chinese Australian communities".

Scivetti added: "Access Asia is our first offering by culture and language. Chinese and Indian Australian communities are high value market segments with movies being a top and established passion point."

Raghavan also highlighted the fact that Bollywood and Chinese films offered a direct cultural linkage to India and China.

"Access Asia gives marketers a channel to reach all demographics within these communities, targeted geographically in key community areas," he said.

The new program has two strands, Access Bollywood and Access China, catering to each audience, and in total Val Morgan anticipates one million admissions over the next year.

Previous research from Val Morgan has claimed cinema advertising produces a three-fold increase in propensity to buy a brand and higher ratings for a brand in terms of liking, image, advocacy and value for money.

Data sourced from Ad News; additional content by Warc staff