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Cinema the superhero medium

Ground-breaking global study reveals the brand impact generated by cinema’s experiential effectiveness.

A study comparing cinema with all other touchpoints, paid, owned and earned, has uncovered new evidence as to why cinema is such a powerful medium for boosting brand influence.

SAWA, the Global Cinema Advertising Association, working in conjunction with MESH Experience, the experts in capturing people’s experiences with brands in real-time, recently released results from their ground-breaking global study.  The study has captured and analyzed over 4,500 brand experiences from more than 1200 people across 3 countries using MESH’s proprietary Real-time Experience Tracking approach. The categories covered in the study included Automotive, Finance, Services, FMCG and Electronics.  Participating organizations included National CineMedia, USA; Screenvision Media, USA; Cineplex, Canada; and Weischer Media, Germany.

As context for this study, and pointed out by a recent Deloitte study, it is no longer enough for brands to simply communicate features and benefits because people want to understand more about the brand’s social purpose, particularly younger people. We also know that people are overloaded with information and this probably explains why in this MESH study we saw that more than a third of paid media messages are self-reported as making people feel “neutral” towards the brand. This state of consumer information overload is creating a challenge for brands wanting to convey more complex concepts to customers who are time-poor with less attention to give.

  • In contrast the MESH global study conducted for SAWA discovered that the cinema environment delivers the greatest proportion of positive brand experiences vs. any other media with 2 out of 3 experiences being positive and virtually no negative experiences.   
  • And this emotional engagement, where people spontaneously tell us their experience is positive, is leading to much deeper advertising comprehension: 
    • Spontaneous descriptions for cinema brand experiences generated a word count that was 20% longer than those for online experiences and 12% longer than for TV. 
    • These comments conveyed detailed product descriptions as well as depth of emotion.
  • Cinema is generally perceived to be an awareness building medium, however, in this study we saw how brand experiences in cinema generate action:
    • Study participants who experienced brand messages in Cinema were 43% more likely to feel inspired to find out more about the brand vs. brand experiences with other media. 
    • And the depth of a cinema brand experience makes people feel 50% more connected to others which can lead to conversation, and we see is a key driver of brand consideration

As a result of these initial findings, a second phase is already in the works for 2019.

Fiona Blades, President and Chief Experience Officer, MESH Experience commented “What we have discovered is that cinema has the power to penetrate deeper to connect brands to people.  Even if the same creative is shown repeatedly in another medium, it may never hit the high notes of one cinema viewing.  This shows the vital role that cinema can play in a brand’s media mix.  And is why, when you add cinema to other media, such as TV and online, it turbocharges the impact on brand consideration.”

Cheryl Wannell, CEO, SAWA, continued “As an industry we believe in creating trustworthy environments for advertisers to communicate in.  What better place to help customers understand a brand’s purpose than Cinema. This research once again validates the strength of the Cinema medium as viable choice in any campaign especially when trying to engage the hard to reach demographics of Millennials and Generation Z.”

About: MESH Experience
About: SAWA

Image source: Lynne Sanchez @ unsplash

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