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How to choose your next TV and cinema agency

If you are looking to deliver your brand messages to a massive audience, cinema and TV marketing are the obvious ‘big ticket’ choices. 

When putting together a marketing strategy, at what point should a brand consider these big and small screen opportunities? Or, are they best left to the big boys.

Whilst the benefits are obvious, the drawback is obviously the size of a budget. However, thanks to the digital revolution, costs have reduced massively while ease of transition into this arena has become a much more simplified process.

For smaller brands looking for maximum exposure, whilst TV and cinema may at first appear prohibitive, it is, in fact, worth taking a second look.

You may not have a burgeoning budget of the large multinationals that regularly appear on screens across the UK’s multiplexes or in our homes, but your audience’s expectations are growing, so there is an argument for a considered ‘scaling up’ of strategy.  

TV and cinema advertising now doesn’t have to blow a budget. It can be kept localised, which means it may financially suit smaller purses and can even reach the unreachable – people who are traditionally more likely to watch TV or go to see the latest blockbuster at their local flicks than surf the net.

Discussing the need for evidence-based marketing, The Drum’s Promotion Fix columnist Samuel Scott, recently commented: ‘Here is an experiment that I will propose. Target a small city with online display ads. Measure the brand lift. Do the same with local TV, local radio and cinema. What results would you see?

‘I bet that you would find that online display ads are absolutely useless. Advertising over digital channels is efficient but often not effective. Advertising over traditional channels is effective but often not efficient.’

In which case, a dual approach is perhaps the best way forward. Add to this the fact that local audiences are very much a target trend and you can see how TV and cinema audiences may be worth the investment.

Many brands are now directing their messages to the local consumer, rather than a mass market and such ‘neighbourhood marketing’ offers brands countless opportunities.

Indeed, TV stations and cinemas are fully aware of this fact, with many having come up with innovative ways to maximise your marketing spend to find ways of reaching a wider audience.

Some agencies can even use technology to adapt a TV quality advert to create better brand experiences on the big screen, thereby meeting smaller budgets.

TV advertising

Why you should box clever…

  • 28.3 million homes in the UK have a television
  • The average Brit watches 22 hours of TV every week, not including streaming services such as Netflix
  • More than 10 million homes have a subscription view-on-demand service, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV

Statistics suggest that the average Brit watches 22.3 hours of TV every week, which means that’s an awful lot of airtime available for promoting your brand.

In a Google study of 98 different TV campaigns, each one saw a lift in product discovery after its TV ad aired. Three out of four of those queries involved people searching directly for the advertiser's brand. (https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-resources/experience-design/optimize-tv-ads-drive-product-discovery/)

The study suggests, therefore, that the two are intrinsically linked. With viewers searching online for the product within a 15-minute timeframe of its screening, canny brands should optimise their TV exposure by creating ads with a direct call to action that point customers to their online presence.

A powerful channel by which a brand can initially engage, TV can provide a stepping stone to other platforms that are financially more viable and, therefore, more sustainable.

Any agency you consider to manage your account should be au fait with the common challenges of TV advertising and understand the restrictions of budgets. Will the agency invest in you as much as the bigger brands it works with? Are they flexible – or, more importantly, do they influence stations to be flexible?

Will they edit your ads into shorter clips or high res images for use across social or in emails?

Will they measure any spikes that coincide with the airing of your TV ad?

Cinema advertising

Want to be a star of the silver screen?

  • 79% of the UK are cinema-goers
  • UK attendance is expected to be up by about 6m on 2017
  • Independent chains now represented 7% of UK box office
  • UK cinemas are on track for best year since 1971

Cinema advertising has changed, thanks to the digital age. It is now quick to get creative to screen, has the flexibility to book by the day (reducing the huge price tags formerly associated with cinema advertising) and can be targeted to audiences – as specific as a certain time at a certain screen – making it a far more bespoke and attractive opportunity for brands, whatever their size.

Indeed, Pearl & Dean, the giants in cinema advertising quote local rates ‘as low as £95 per week’ and use an in-house team to create ‘DigiAd’ using your own high-resolution images and a script – alternatively, they will your own production sources if needs be.

The beauty of the cinema is the captive audience has bought in to be fully engaged in what’s happening on the screen, which makes it an effective marketing experience.

Any film agency you choose should have partnerships across the industry that will benefit you and be able to work collaboratively to promote your brand at the relevant times.

They should also be able to establish buying routes that are targeted to engage with your ideal customers.

They should be familiar with the guidelines as to what you can and cannot feature in ads and offer a copy clearance service so that your ad meets UK commercial content guidelines set by the regulators.

Do they access data to provide analysis that will shape where and when you should place your ads to maximum effect? Do they provide the creatives?

TV and cinema advertising used to be considered the higher end of the marketing spectrum for brands, particularly given the budgets required.

However, with the advent of the internet and its plethora of easy access to target audiences, TV and cinema have had to compete. Additionally, local audiences are great to target – it not only creates a more personalised experience, but it also meets the needs of those who are searching for a trusted brand.

Both TV and cinemas are now offering businesses an opportunity to ‘go local’ – and this appeals to consumers who often view businesses ‘in their neighbourhood’ as the more friendly face of commerce.

With the right planning and an agency that promotes an across-all-platforms approach to marketing, your brand could very well become the next star of both the big and small screen.

‘Despite the web and streaming platforms, the cinema, like the live concert, is a real event. It can’t be downloaded. You have to be there, or you’re missing out’

Source: Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian