Ad Spend Going From TV To Movies? Is That Really The Best Plan?

By SuperSpy 

The writer’s strike continues, but talks have resumed. Yay! Meanwhile, advertisers should definitely be looking at other platforms to get their message across. Yet, according to the NY Times, not many plan on doing that. They’re going to stick it out with TV – the mass marketer’s sometimes disappointing, but still relevant best friend.However, MediaVest is looking to shake up their ad spend. Donna Speciale, MediaVest’s president, told Adage that: “The bottom line is that the ratings erosion hasn’t stopped. We are really looking to take a proactive approach and say, ‘You know what? We can’t keep our money in TV.”

The company is planning on moving a $100M out of TV and onto the big screen through National CineMedia (14,000 screens) and Screenvision, (15,500)Okay, but what? Bravo to Mediavest for changing up the game, but cinema? Consider the following:


– In the absence of new programming due to the writer’s strike, the internet is an entertainment alternative many will consider according to a Burst Media survey. Two-fifths of respondents (39.6%) expect to use the internet more for entertainment purposes if their favorite TV shows are shown only in reruns. And those speculations are proving to be true. According to new figures from Nielsen Online some online video sites have doubled their audience since the strike began. So, why not move ad dollars, like half of that $100M, online?

– The number of young adults going out to the movies has decreased from 13% in 1998 to just 3% in 2008 [source]. Yeah, downloading anyone? Rentals?

– The video game industry is kicking the motion picture’s bloated butt. Total sales were $18.85 billion, with $9.5 of that spent on games and $9.35 on consoles. Gawd bless the Wii, which has brought gaming to a critical peak. The entire motion picture box office was $9.66 billion, which is a slight increase from 2006, but come on… There are other avenues. Anyone recall that whole Burger King game thing?

– One last thing… If our film begins at 9 pm and we get to our seats at 830 pm, then fine – show us ads. At, 9 pm to 9 15 pm, why is it we’re watching ads for say, a car followed by the Marines, followed by something else? That’s when your captive audience is ready to turn on you. Not only on the cinema, but the advertisers too. We’re not the only ones:

Steve L. replies to a post on the Movieblog:
This is one of my biggest pet peeves about going to the theaters, and I don’t enjoy plopping down my money to see a freaking car commercial when a trailer should be running to promote another movie I might want to see.

There are some folks who are in support of pre-roll advertising. However, the comments on such pieces always fall into consumer rants against the sloppy pratice of ads after the start time:

Eaglewing replies to a post on Cinemablend: Around here, we get 20 minutes of TV commercials for showing up early to get a decent seat, then the start time comes and we get another 10 commercial minutes plus 15 minutes of trailers and then the Dolby Digital ad and studio logo before we ever even get to the movie. By that time, you’ve blown past the butter zone of your $10 popcorn and half your $5 pop is gone too and the movie hasn’t even started! Hence, I don’t go to theatres anymore.

– Also, you can see rebuttals to the recent Aribtron study, which said that consumers don’t mind ads before films. Sure… Right…