All Ad Impressions are Not Created Equal

The only impressions that truly count are those that are memorable. But to meet this criterion an impression must be seen, which means that the target must be paying attention. As Thales S. Teixeira, Associate Professor of Business Adminstration, Harvard Business School, writes, "Attention is the allocation of mental resources, visual or cognitive, to visible or conceptual objects.  Before consumers can be affected by advertising messages, they need to first be paying attention."

At one recent cable television Upfront, the president of an ad sales team touted that viewers are less likely to skip ads in programs which engage them. Presumably, the more engaged they are with the programs, the more engaged they will be with your ads.

Isn't that the issue? That television and digital ads can be skipped?  In contrast, that can't happen at the movies. 

At tonight's Upfront, Screenvision Media has no plan to distract its audience. They don't need to, as cinema has arrived as an essential part of the media mix.  In just a few short years, cinema has been validated as an audience replacement vehicle that delivers valuable impressions where they matter most. This finding is further substantiated by year-over-year growth, with the Cinema Advertising Council reporting that cinema advertising revenue topped $750 million for the first time ever in 2016.

Screenvision Media is very serious about evangelizing the importance of the memorable impressions they deliver.  "The alchemy of media is temperamental and we don't take it for granted," says CEO John Partilla.  "We are working hard to ensure that our advertisers can optimize this valuable impression.  While audiences are unique, we strive to create an environment that allows for maximum absorption of advertiser messaging. When done right, a movie theater can create an immersive environment that allows audiences to focus on the messages highlighted on the 40-foot screen. It's no mystery; no smoke and mirrors here. Everyone wins -- the advertiser and the audience -- as storytelling is best on the big screen."

Science suggests that when you activate the senses of sight, sound and smell within a distraction free environment, emotional and physical reactions are triggered.  The cinema experience activates all three.  Here's a recipe for how Screenvision Media creates that memorable impression.

  • Start with a welcoming, distraction free, immersive environment that generates unrivaled impact on awareness, likability and intent; 
  • Sprinkle in comfy chairs, hot popcorn and ambient lighting for heightened senses;
  • Prep the audience with an entertaining pre-show to amplify anticipation and passion for the most premiere, premium content to ensure active and eager engagement.

There you have a bit of levity, but Screenvision Media's commitment to understanding the factors that influence the creation, duration and storage of memories is very serious.  They have an insatiable need to understand the power of their 59% ad awareness on subsequent consumer behavior and as part of the media mix.

To this end, Screenvision Media has commissioned a study to further understand and reinforce the notion of a memorable impression as the most impactful impression and how the deep engagement of a cinematic experience can bolster the effectiveness of the frequency of media. Screenvision Media already has research which shows that TV plus cinema is 1+1 = 3.  While the current study is still being fielded, the marketplace will provide a more complete understanding of this unique and powerful complementary relationship.

"An increasing number of advertisers are including cinema in their media plans, driving our sector growth at a time when other media is struggling to deliver scale and impact," says Katy Loria, Screenvision Media Chief Revenue Officer.  "Advertisers understand that all impressions are not created equal. And now they know the impact of a memorable impression ... and that Screenvision Media impressions are long-lasting and actionable. They target, connect, influence and ignite audiences in order to best amplify a brand's message."

Speaking of promises, I promised not to steal the thunder of tonight's Upfront presentation, including key announcements directed to the advertising community. Screenvision Media has learned a lot about how memory is encoded to enhance the most memorable impressions and, with the right environment and fewer distractions, it is magnifying the opportunity to create impactful, lasting impressions on its audience.  

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Mary Ellen Holden

Mary Ellen Holden is the Founder and CEO of MEH Solutions, LLC, first established in 2001.  In this capacity she provides 360° multi-platform sales, strategy, marketing, research and media intelligence to media organizations, ad agencies and resea... read more