Pluk goes from small screen to silver screen

Pluk is taking its wares and projecting it onto the big screen, bringing its audio-recognition promotions app platform to the cinema.

Launched by MediaWorks in January 2012, Pluk allows advertisers to expand the reach of their campaigns to the user’s smartphone through an app which recognises sound segments in advertising and activates content on the smartphone based on it. A Shazam for ads.

Pluk was used extensively during the broadcast of TV3’s The Block New Zealand, where it received more than 10,000 interactions. The app is sitting at just under 60,000 downloads, according to country manager Martin Shanahan.

He says the cinema launch will be accompanied by a brand awareness campaign which will include the work of two Pluk clients. One of the goals of the awareness campaign is to lift the number of New Zealanders who have downloaded Pluk, he adds.

Cinema advertising isn’t exactly the most lucrative of mediums. According to the Advertising Standards Authority, it only accounted for 0.3 percent of all advertising spending last year – sitting at $7 million for 2012 and 2011. Shanahan says the move into cinema isn’t about how lucrative the market is, it’s about expanding Pluk’s offerring to advertisers include

“We want to provide a complete solution for a multi-channel campaign,” he says.

Cellphone use in cinemas is generally frowned upon – if not hated vehemently – by the public. Asked if brands risked a backlash by encouraging it in the cinema, Shanahan says it’s already happening. The aim is not to interrupt the movie watching, but make the previews and ads before a movie more engaging.

“If you’ve been to a cinema lately you’ll already see people second-screening during the previews and advertising at the start … We will work with brands to make sure their implementation for cinema is effective and positive,” he says.

Pluk is working towards expanding its offerrings through NFC, QR codes and SMS marketing. An area of particular interest for Pluk is radio. As an audio-based platform it makes the perfect next step, says Shanahan. He was unable to say when the radio component will launch or what it might look like.

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