Cinema ad spend up as retail and online boost presence

Cinema ad spend rose last year for the first time in three years, posting a 10% rise from 2006, after retail and online brands significantly upped their use of the medium.

Cinema Advertising Association figures for 2007, provided by Nielsen Media Research, show cinema ad spend in 2007 totalled £170m, up from £154m in 2006.

Apple was one of a number of companies to significantly increase its cinema spend, along with John Lewis, eBay and Ford.

Spend by retail companies was up 253% in 2007 compared with 2006, while online retail spend was up by 552%. Advertising spend by business and industrial clients, such as property firms, was up by 888% to £800,000.

Agencies said that the rise was largely due to the release of strong films last year, cinema ad sales teams increasing their presence in agencies and the introduction of new ad methods such as interactive foyer sites.

Bruce McGowan, head of cinema at ZenithOptimedia, believes advertisers are increasingly using cinema's reputation as a glamourous medium to promote their products.

He said: "When you're trying to shift the perception of a brand such as DFS, you can do that in the cinema when it shares a reel with other sexy brands such as Apple.

"It shifts the viewers' idea of what the brand is worth and a lot of companies buy into that."

Erica Taylor, head of cinema at Starcom, paid tribute to the sales houses involved.

She said: "The sales teams have done an amazing job across the board, getting out to see more planning teams and really selling the medium.

"But as well as that, people are becoming more aware that cinema has such a brilliant captive audience if it's the right strategic brief."

Taylor also believes that advertisers are starting to take advantage of the hype that surrounds some film releases.

She said: "Films are becoming a real appointment to view and people are anticipating film releases a long way in advance.

"When they go it's a positive experience they enjoy with friends, which creates the perfect environment (for advertisers)."

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