Marketing in Movie Theaters
In looking at advertising expenditures in various Latin American countries, we see that television, magazines and radio are usually among the top categories. Now, these are fundamentally different media types. Magazines rely solely on visual stimuli, radio communicates solely on audio stimuli, but television is an audio-visual medium. For purely technological reasons, then, television has greater possibilities and range than the other two media.
In practice, there are other issues beyond the technology itself. One important consideration is the attention factor. When someone reads a magazine, it is reasonable to assume that they are paying a high level of attention. By contrast, television is sometimes a secondary activity (see article), thus not getting the full attention of the viewers. Observational studies have shown that people engage in all sorts of other activities in front of the television set, perhaps even doing anything except watching the television program.
We cannot dictate what people do in their own homes. But there is a situation in which the following occurs: we sit the prospective viewer in a seat, we turn the lights off so that there are no exterior distractions and the viewer patiently watches the televised commercials with concentrated attention. Millions of people do this all over the world every day. Where does this occur? In movie theaters!
Inside movie theaters, marketing tactics are not limited to 30-second commercials showed before the usual trailers and the feature film. Other types of place-based advertising media are present, including (and not limited to):
Movie theaters represent a favorable opportunities to reach a special population segment. The first question must be: Who is in the audience? We will now cite some survey data from the TGI Argentina survey. This is a survey of 5,946 persons between the ages of 12 and 75 who were interviewed in Argentina during early 2001. According to the TGI Argentina survey, 29% of these respondents went to a movie theater at least once during the past 6 months. The table below shows the incidences by demographic characteristics.
|Demographic Chararacteristics||% attended cinema in past 6 months|
|Highest Education Level
Movie goers are young, affluent and educated, and this set of characteristics makes them very attractive to advertisers. This is particularly true for certain types of products and services, perhaps none more obvious than trailers which advertise forthcoming movies as well as licensed merchandises that are tied in with current movies.
We began this article by asserting that the movie goers form a captive audience. In the following table, we show the results of asking the TGI Argentina respondents about their attention level to advertisements in different types of media. Among movie goers, cinema ads garner more attention than every other medium except for television.
|Medium||% Always pay attention to ads
among all persons 12-75
|% Always pay attention to ads
among movie goers
The TGI Argentina survey questions deal only with general attention levels. A recent article in the New York Times ("Marketing in the Movie Theater" by Karen J. Bannan, October 8, 2001) reports: "Exit polls have found that as many as 80 percent of theatergoers can recall the subject of an advertisement they have seen in a cinema --- four to six times the number who can typically recall television commercials."
(posted by Roland Soong, 10/20/2001)
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