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Intelligence Briefs

TARP overload and other reasons cinema's growth is eclipsing digital

Industry Contributor

Guy Burbidge, MD
Val Morgan

4 November 2019 3min read

Zenith’s latest advertising expenditure forecast announced cinema as the fastest growing ad channel in 2020. Eclipsing digital for the first time in forever isn’t just a flash in the pan and down to a blockbuster title releasing each week. It’s rooted in the core of what cinema delivers for brands both locally and globally.

My Takeout

Digital has been outpacing everything in terms of dollar share for as long as most people can remember. So why is cinema set to eclipse digital's growth next year? 

Audience growth: Cinema is tracking up 1-3 per cent this year with the same forecast for 2020. In a world where streaming services are the harbingers of doom to many media platforms/companies, cinema has proven to rise above and deliver growth. This is particularly acute in the ‘unreachable’ youth demographic that use ad blockers and flock to ad-free environments. Cinema is forecast to deliver around 10 per cent growth in this demo with the audience seeing cinema as a key source of entertainment/experience. This positions cinema as an interesting place to achieve large scale AV impact on youth audiences in a cultural peer group setting.

Attention: arguably the most important ingredient in advertising and cinema delivers this in spades.  It’s time we got past the headline ‘CPM analysis’ as it doesn’t hold true if:

a) an audience can’t see enough of your ad on a screen and

b) aren’t really focusing on it anyway as they either scroll past at an average speed of 15km/hour or disengage to go to the toilet or make a cup of tea.      

Return to brand:  like a decent sequel, the benefits of brand advertising are back in vogue thanks to a re-balance away from short term tactics to long term strategies proven to build memory structures in consumers.  While this narrative has been in market for some time, it is starting to wash through the system and into marketing plans for late 2019 and into 2020.  

Delivering cultural 'Super Bowl moments': Hollywood has a wonderful knack for creating ever-evolving story lines. We’ve had some truly amazing content this year that has defined social currency in audiences and sparked more watercooler moments than ever before. Avengers: Endgame was a remarkable feat of coordination in cinemas with schedules running from 6am – 2am for days on end. Audiences displayed a thirst for being part of what was a truly epic ending that saw Val Morgan deliver a TARP of 23 in Males 18-39 in the first five days. Looking forward, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker promises to deliver a spectacular end to a 42-year narrative that has captivated intergenerational audiences and will be the number one broadcast content this summer in a period where TV ratings are on holiday.

2019 has seen a +40 per cent increase in original content (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Yesterday) as well as +37 per cent in content that speaks to wider societal issues such as female empowerment, diversity and racism.

This trend is set to continue in 2020 with a healthy slate of premium content from all studios with Greyhound, Little Women, The Gentlemen, 1917, Wonder Woman 1984, Birds of Prey, Mulan and so much more.

Let’s go. What do you think?

Industry Contributor

Guy Burbidge, MD
Val Morgan

Guy started his career in the UK working agency side and has extensive experience across the industry including Outdoor and Digital.

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