The Bank - Advertising agency Newcastle upon Tyne and London
Advertising and Media

Cinema Advertising: Media Buying and Planning with The Bank

Cinema advertising and movie advertising


For UK cinemas and the film industry as a whole, recent years have been—to say the least—somewhat challenging. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the lingering threat posed by home-based streaming services, 2020 saw a 75% drop in cinema admissions, as moviegoers resisted the allure of the box office in favour of the small screen.

Thankfully, however, figures from the past year are encouraging. Boosted by the commercial success of ‘No Time to Die’, October 2021 saw 16.4 million admissions, the third highest October on record. With restrictions lifted, it seems that audiences remain hungry for the cinema experience they simply can’t get from Netflix; and, as fans return to theatres, so too does the opportunity for brands wishing to reach them through cinema advertising.

The Bank are a media buying and planning agency, with a comprehensive marketing approach. Our in-house experts and network of advertising creatives can help with all aspects of cinema advertising, from strategy and campaign development to media creative and ad space purchase. Our unparalleled expertise and industry know-how give us the ability to develop effective cinema advertising campaigns that target millions of moviegoers, delivering your brand message with pinpoint accuracy and maximum impact.

Contact our team today to learn more about how we can help your business. Alternatively, keep reading for our guide to marketing on the big screen. Action!

The Benefits of Advertising on the Big Screen

“You Had Me at ‘Hello'”

Free from the distractions they are presented with at home, a cinema audience is a captive audience. Research indicates that cinema advertising delivers the lowest ad avoidance rates across all entertainment media channels, with only 8% of consumers avoiding cinema big screen commercials. Compared to the avoidance rates of TV (44%) and newspapers (68%), the specific benefits for your business to utilise movie advertising are significant.

“I Think This Is the Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship”

Along with low avoidance rates, cinema advertising boasts impressive engagement scores, with audiences responding positively to 33% of the commercials they watch. This is 15% higher than the positive association scores offered by television ads, as moviegoers associate the pleasurable cinema experience with the products or services of your business.

“Total Recall”

Film advertising has been shown to be up to eight times more memorable than advertising on TV. This strong recall among viewers can drive brand conversations, particularly in light of the fact that cinema generates strong word-of-mouth, as 1 out of every 5 frequent moviegoers is a conversation catalyst.

“Let’s All Go to the Lobby”

Cinema chains in the UK are frequently located in shopping centres and retail parks, making theaters ideal for encouraging sales and visits to adjacent retail and leisure locations.

Furthermore, with digital advertising screens and counter-top point-of-sale stands, there are numerous avenues through which companies can advertise to film fans, both on- and off-screen.

“We’re Not in Kansas Anymore”

Cinema advertising provides advertisers with the opportunity for sophisticated geographic targeting, allowing you to focus your campaign on specific locations. This is ideal for brands with a local or regional focus, allowing them to generate company awareness, boost sales, or encourage website traffic.

“You Talking to Me?”

As well as geographic targeting, a cinema advertising campaign can be tailored to specific demographic and psychographic targeting metrics. By running ads before specific films or at specific times of the week, your brand can ensure its marketing efforts are focused solely on hitting the right audience at the right time. Many studios and distributors release in-depth demographic data for the movies, meaning it’s simple to align your company objectives with those watching.

“Make Him an Offer He Can’t Refuse”

Despite the many benefits of advertising on the big screen, cinema advertising remains an affordable option for brands of all sizes. Many cinemas display single-frame still ads before the main trailers, meaning there is no need for advertisers to invest their money in high-cost directors and expensive ad production.

Getting Your Ads into UK Cinemas

For the uninitiated, the routes into the world of cinema advertising can seem unclear. Like TV and radio advertising, a degree of assumed knowledge is expected, and, for those looking to run their first campaign, it is difficult to know the right course of action.

Luckily, the process isn’t as complicated as it initially seems. Two major agencies sell the majority of cinema advertising space in the UK:

Digital Cinema Media (DCM)

Digital Cinema Media supply cinema advisements to the Cineworld, Odeon, and Vue cinema chains. They control approximately 80% of the cinema screens in the UK, meaning that they have a large reach and can offer incredible rates to brands who want their ads to play in cinemas across the country.

Pearl & Dean

With a theme tune as synonymous with the cinema experience as popcorn and sticky floors, Pearl & Dean are responsible for supplying adverts to the Empire, Showcase, and AMC chains, as well as almost 50% of the country’s independent cinemas. While their overall reach is smaller than that of DCM, Pearl & Dean’s network of independent partners allows them to offer more refined options for targetting, as well as opportunities to advertise before niche films and audiences.

Getting a Foot in the Door

Whilst it is possible for businesses to purchase ad space directly with these agencies, it is more common (and usually more cost-effective) to go through a media buying agency. These agencies are experienced in the world of advertising and will be able to navigate the journey on your behalf, as well as offer guidance and strategic advice.

The Bank are one such agency…

The Bank: Media Buying and Planning for Cinema Advertising

The Bank is a media buying and planning agency, with over 15 years of experience in the industry. We understand the intricate workings of the world of advertising and are proud to have a team of experts who can guide you through every stage of your cinema advertising campaign.

Strategy and Planning

The first step in any advertising campaign is to sit down with our team and develop a clear strategy.

We’ll work with you to understand your brand, your objectives, and your target audience, and we’ll use this information to develop a campaign that is tailored to your specific needs and goals.

We’ll develop clear targets and metrics for success, and we’ll work with you to create a campaign that is on-brand and in-budget.

Creative Media

Once we have a clear understanding of your brand and objectives, our network of creatives will get to work on developing a concept for your cinema ad.

This ad will be brought to life through a combination of stunning visuals and an engaging narrative, with a finished article that is designed to capture the attention of your target audience and tell the story of your brand.

Our digital media experts will create brand-specific content designed for consistency across multiple channels. This will ensure all your marketing materials—from cinema to television to radio and print—are working together to deliver a cohesive message.

Purchase and Implementation

Once the creative work is complete, our team of buying experts will use their knowledge and connections to secure the best possible rates for your cinema ad.

We’ll work with you to understand your budget and objectives, and we’ll use this information to identify the perfect cinema sites for your ad.

We’ll also work with you to schedule your ad so that its premiere reaches your target audience at the right time.

What Are You Waiting For?

Cinema advertising is an incredibly effective way to reach your target audience, and with The Bank on your side, you can be sure that your campaign is in safe hands

If you’re ready to take your brand to the big screen, get in touch with our team today.


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