LONDON: Digital Cinema Media (DCM) and Pearl & Dean, two companies which supply advertising for cinemas in the UK, say more brands are using the medium to reach audiences who are undistracted by their smartphones and social media.

“In this world of distraction, cinema is pretty much the only channel where everyone puts their phone away and provides their undivided attention for 120 minutes – it’s a huge differentiator,” said DCM CEO Karen Stacey in an interview with Marketing Week.

“Reach is overrated, you can get it anywhere nowadays with programmatic,” she added. “But true impact, making an impression and achieving cut through is the hard part, and that’s what cinema provides.”

According to DCM, its brand count is up 4% year-on-year, with more than 180 advertisers using 60-second-plus ads over the past year.

DCM also published research last week, carried out with Kantar Millward Brown, which found campaigns that use TV and cinema as the main audio-visual media channel contribute an average 1.58% to total brand KPI.

The next best performing combination for brand building is TV, cinema and online video at 1.3%, followed by TV alone at 1.09% and then TV and online video at 0.72%.

Zoe Cadman, Sales Director at Pearl & Dean, reported that the company’s advertising revenues have increased by more than 40% this year and she attributed at least part of this to brand safety fears surrounding social media.

“Brands are realising there’s a clear element of safety in advertising to cinema audiences,” she said. “It’s also a lot harder to make an emotional or immersive connection through online channels.”

While the likes of DCM and Pearl & Dean have a clear interest in promoting cinema as an effective advertising medium, Marketing Week also talked to three brands who are fans of the channel.

Premium chocolate brand Godiva, for example, regards cinema as a crucial part of its plan to increase global sales to £3.2bn by 2019 and has run a campaign with Everyman Cinema whereby cinemagoers were given complimentary samples along with their ticket.

“It’s just such a captive audience so people are a lot more likely to buy,” explained Sarah Horowitz, Godiva’s Head of Marketing. “The thing about other media channels is people are juggling multiple things at the same time so advertising really needs to stand out.”

According to the latest Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report, cinema adspend in the UK rose 8.4% year-on-year in 2016 to £258m. Cinema adspend is then expected to grow by another 12.6% in 2017 before declining in 2018.

Sourced from Marketing Week, DCM; additional content by WARC staff