Published on Digiday

Cinema sales operations are pushing attention metrics to bring in revenue.

In a bid to increase its share of the multi-billion-dollar ad pie being cooked by marketers and agencies in advance of this year’s upfront marketplace, cinema ad firm Screenvision is touting a study it’s done with IPG’s Magna unit to market that extols the media channel’s superior attention results with viewers.

It’s not the first bout of attention-related research Screenvision has invested in, having worked with attention firm Amplified Intelligence last year. This work with Magna aimed to show how brands actually fared using cinema as a part of their marketing efforts, when compared to TV and digital video platforms.

According to Kara Manatt, evp of intelligence solutions at Magna, multiple brands participated in the study, including from categories including automotive, telecom, gaming, beauty/skincare, pharmaceutical and insurance, among others. She wouldn’t name specific brands.

Among the findings: cinema ads delivered up to three times the attention of either CTV or other digital video 30-second spots — 94% to 30% on average. They also watched an average 29 seconds of the cinema-run spots compared to nine seconds across TV.

“This piece of research had an unprecedented amount of clients in it because there was so much interest in being able to have a like for like comparison of attention across screens,” said Manatt. “Some of them are already invested in cinema, so they’re using some of the creative insights to to inform some of their decisions in the way that they run ads in cinema. And then others are taking it under advisement, to see, you know, where they may want to shift investments.”

Ad lengths, from 30 seconds to two minutes were also tested in the research, noted Jen Friedlander, Screenvision’s vp of isights and measurement at Screenvision. “For one client, we tested two different spot lengths, the question being, is someone as leaned into a 30-second ad as they are to a 90-second ad?” she said. “In fact, it is the environment — we found no difference in that level of attention, so ads of all lengths are equally engaging in cinema.”

“In many environments, clients are paying by the ad length — they’re paying more for a :30 than they are a :15,” added Manatt. “My job is frequently to see if that’s cost effective — are you getting double the attention? Our breadth of research shows most of the time the answer is no. This is one of the first times where we’re seeing that the answer is yes, which is great for all the clients that come to us asking where they should run these longer ads.”

Merz Aesthetics, one of the clients that spoke with Digiday, said the desire to reach its target demographic in a more natural habitat got the anti-wrinkle brand involved.

“Our goal is to build unique connections with our consumers, and that starts with attracting them to our brands in this highly attention-competitive economy,” said Emma Hilal, U.S. director of consumer marketing. “Testing cinema advertising was a logical extension for us to reach our target demographic ‘where they are’ – namely at the intersection of lifestyle and pop culture – and deliver strong, clutter-free engagement and overall message receptivity given the nature of the captive audience.”

The study surveyed 171 moviegoers 18 and older in Milwaukee who chose which film to see. It was conducted in September 2023. Infrared cameras were used to track eye movements.

Read the Article on Digiday