Tshireletso Yvonne Diogo, Marketing Manager Cinemark, comments on the status of advertising and cinema in South Africa.
“One ubiquitous insight I appreciate from the recently held Future of Media Conference is the demonstration of the obvious direct correlation between companies that invest in brands and their organic revenue growth. It is incumbent to deliver a metric for advertising ROI not only based on attendance figures, the number of eyeballs or page impressions, as an example. For brands to realize a true return for their media investment, the medium has to provide depth such as a high-value audience with a propensity to purchase, good ad noting levels and brand affinity to the advertiser. When it comes to cinema, these expectations can be met.
Evidence shows a solid and undeniable fact: cinema advertising is highly effective in the advertising media mix. By analysing South Africa’s regular cinema goers and collating the information in the 2014 Cinema Advertising Effectiveness Report, the results are overwhelmingly positive for cinema and cinema advertising campaigns.
The research, made up of mixed methodology using quantitative and qualitative survey questions, looked at Ster-Kinekor’s MovieMinds, an online consumer panel of regular cinema goers, over the period of 26 February to 10 March 2014. The geographic scope included the entire country. The sample profile included 56% of males and 44% of females, while 82% made up the LSM 8 – 10 bracket. The majority of respondents were under the age of 39 with 45% being black, 37% white, 12% coloured and 6% Indian.
The fact that only 3% of cinema-goers intentionally arrive after the adverts are finished was one of the most striking elements to the evidence. This shows that cinema adverts are not avoided, unlike television adverts that are often synonymous with toilet runs, snack stockpiling, Facebook skimming and chats. Television adverts also often give viewers a gap to flick channels. Cinema advertising, on the other hand, is enjoyed far more than any other form of advertising. This is due to the ‘wow’ factor that is owed to the big sound and big screen along with the fact that there are no interruptions, no distractions and that these adverts are, in general, far more captivating. In fact the research shows that 73% of respondents enjoy watching cinema ads and 27% of those thoroughly enjoy them.
What’s more is that cinema takes first place when it comes to holding more attention than adverts in any other media. 72% of cinema goers pay attention to the screen as advertising is taking place while only 60% of viewers pay attention to television adverts and less than 50% in other media. Phenomenally 46% of cinema-goers have bought or investigated a product or service directly as a result of a cinema advert.
Crucially, 49% of respondents feel that cinema would be more effective and 35% feel it would be equally effective when it comes to an advert that is viewed on both the cinema and television platform. Millward Brown AdTrack study conducted in 2012 supports this feedback.
Resounding is the fact that two-thirds of cinema goers ensure that they are seated in time to watch all aspects, including the adverts. 66% of respondents stated that they prefer to go into the theatre on time so that they can see all of the adverts and trailers before the movie, with the consensus being that the adverts and trailers are part and parcel of the whole cinema-going experience. These adverts, respondents said, are lapped up with whole-hearted concentration.
It is the humorous adverts that gain the most attention, the research showed. Also, the importance of exciting, interesting adverts and catchy soundtracks was highlighted. Dominating adverts at the time of study included Cell C and Coca-Cola while Jameson, Absolut Vodka, Johnnie Walker and KFC were also prominent. Some of the comments respondents shared around adverts included that ads are better and more graphic on the big screen, are exciting to watch, are part of the movie experience and have the capacity to put people in a good mood.
Interestingly, when it comes to cinema adverts compared to other media adverts, TV was fairly competitive but newspaper, radio and mobile phone lagged behind considerably. More importantly, no forms of media were liked more than cinema overall. This is because viewers prefer a short burst of ads before the entertainment starts, rather than a constant stream of interruptions throughout their viewing experience.
Most importantly, it was found that cinema grabs attention considerably more effectively than other forms of media, most of which allow ample means of escape from the message. This is particularly strong amongst the younger groups, black and lower LSM participants which all reported very high levels of attention to cinema ads.”