New research gives cinema advertising a fillip

Australasian cinema advertising company Val Morgan is currently whistling as it walks, after it announced the results of a study showing that cinema advertising, when used in conjunction with television, increases consumer propensity to buy and drives return on investment for advertisers.

Conducted by AMR Interactive, the study is the largest ever commissioned by the cinema advertising industry in Australasia and sought to quantify cinema advertising’s ROI for the first time. And the research found that when cinema advertising was added to a television campaign, there was a three-fold lift in consumers’ propensity to buy, compared to television alone.

“Previous research has found that cinema enjoys eight times the recall of other broadcast media – but there was nothing to show how it impacts propensity to buy and advertising ROI. Today we have that proof,” Val Morgan chief executive Graeme Yarwood says.

AMR Interactive conducted extensive research among more than 4,000 people across 11 advertising campaigns in a broad range of categories including automotive, telecommunications, alcoholic beverages, finance, fast food and FMCG.

Eleven advertising campaigns running in Australia were tested, each with the same executions on cinema and television and which were airing concurrently. The report found that per media dollar spent, cinema and television advertising in combination was 36 per cent more effective in driving increased propensity to purchase than television alone.

“What this means is that cinema used in conjunction with television will deliver a higher uplift in propensity to buy for advertisers than the same budget spent on television alone,” Yarwood says. “This research offers some compelling reasons for advertisers to add cinema to their TV campaigns. Cinema really punches above its weight in contributing to a significant uplift in propensity to buy.”

To ensure representation and relevance, respondents were screened to be product category users and within the target audience for each campaign. AMR Interactive also engaged an independent statistical expert, Dr Bill Callaghan, as part of the research team, with a specific focus on design and analysis.

“We are confident that ‘best practice’ research was undertaken to ensure a rigorous study of the effectiveness of cinema, relative to TV, was carried out. The study was designed with the input of Dr Callaghan to ensure it was totally objective in assessing the relative merits of TV and cinema,” AMR Interactive chairman Brian Fine says. “The key findings from the study demonstrate that cinema advertising exposure, across the 11 campaigns, had a significant impact on propensity to purchase the brands tested and delivered a greater ROI for expenditure, than using TV advertising alone.

“It also showed there were greater positive impacts for the brands tested than TV alone. These included higher recall, positive brand empathy, positive brand perceptions and propensity to purchase the brand. A combination of both TV and cinema was seen to have a synergistic impact which uplifted these measures,” he added.

The New Zealand cinema industry is enjoying record box-office in 2010, up 33 per cent year-on- year, with last year’s box-office total of $NZ170 million the highest on record.

“Cinema is a unique medium because not only does it have a captive audience but one that sees the ads as an enjoyable part of the cinema experience,” Yarwood says. “We believe this research, along with the box-office running at record levels this year, demonstrates beyond doubt that cinema deserves a larger commitment from advertisers.”

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