Fourth quarter is always an exciting time in media. Maybe it’s from the old television model, but the season still feels ripe for a premiere. But we’ve seen that model decline, year-over-year, as an abundance of choices and consumer control have fragmented our industry along with our efforts to communicate to consumers. Fragmentation is a funny word to me because everyone sees it as a negative, and I don’t any longer. Perhaps it has something to do with our own premiere this fall, as we welcome a new CEO to Screenvision, but I’m choosing to spend my time embracing the fragmentation knowing that ultimately strong messages on the right platform at the right time will find passionate consumers. We all just have to get better at it.
And I think we are. I really enjoyed attending Advertising Week in New York City last month, and more recently the ANAs. Seeing, listening and reading about the exceptional thought leadership that has emerged lately is truly inspiring. Sure, things are uncertain out there if you’re glued to old models and tired thinking. But there are also a lot of smart people with a lot of positivity, sharing strong POVs on how to attack these challenges.
They say the cream rises to the top, and coming out of Advertising Week I would say the richest and creamiest ideas were about building media campaigns that go beyond GRPs and focus more on driving a brand message through today’s fragmented ecosystem. We have to accept that all the math in the world doesn’t really add up if the consumer isn’t engaged with your message, or worse yet, doesn’t even recall it or discover your brand.
Yes, the media landscape is now different. But it’s always been changing, and will continue to do so. Certainly media properties have to continue to strive for scale, with the right audience and an advertising platform supported by strong underpinnings. We also have to start thinking more holistically because it’s not just about filling in impressions. I believe there is even greater opportunity to embrace how a media property helps drive a campaign message. Fundamentally, not all impressions are created equal, and it’s certainty true that not all screens are created equal.
Today it’s essential for media campaigns to have that “big bang” opportunity -- that accelerant that can propel messages through all this fragmentation. In years past, these accelerant media properties may have been seen as a luxury, but times have changed and today standing out is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Now more than ever, it’s imperative that each media component works together to play a role to not just deliver the message, but to impact the target consumer to take action.
Against this backdrop, there is a medium whose “big bang” potential is atmospheric, and whose value to an overall media campaign and brand objective has never been greater. Cinema advertising more than just checks all the boxes, it casts a huge halo over a campaign. The industry has been more than clear about premium content as the way to engage audiences, and cinema’s premier content more than delivers on that goal. More specifically, “tentpole,” “watercooler” video content is the most desirable and will cause a sense of FOMO amongst brands and agencies. And in case you haven’t noticed, the box office has been on fire this year. It’s definitely not one to miss out on.
The fourth quarter is an exciting time. The opening of “The Martian” kicked off the highly anticipated movie slate, to be followed by “Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II” and “Star Wars VII – The Force Awakens,” all in record fashion. Literally. Just this past week, “Star Wars” “broke the Internet” with presale ticket numbers shattering records and actually crashing online ticketing sites.
With all this chaos facing us, sometimes I think the sexiest thing I can say about cinema is that it’s incredibly stable! But there’s so much more. Cinema offers huge scale every week of the year with not only dynamic programming, but dynamic audiences. Movie theaters are filled with the most coveted, influential and receptive audience in media, including droves of hard to reach Millennials, providing extended and unduplicated powerful reach.
There is no environment in media that is more immersive than cinema: 100% viewable, 0% ads skipped, 0% ads blocked with messages completely uncluttered on a 40 foot screen. Plus our advertising platform is the most flexible in media, so whether you need 30s and 60s, long-form, custom content, or interactive opportunities, we can provide and accommodate it all. The evolution of advertising, and the attack on fragmentation, is happening here every day.
2016 will soon be upon us -- planning is well underway -- and I could not be more enthusiastic about cinema’s prospects to provide brands the most premier “tentpole” video every week to ensure that their message breaks through.
The opinions and points of view expressed in this commentary are exclusively the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage/MyersBizNet management or associated bloggers.