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Brands should consider positive commercial and social impact for cinema campaigns 

Brands should consider the “shared viewing experience” of cinemas, when producing theatrical campaigns.

That’s according to new research carried out by Digital Cinema Media in partnership with Burst Your Bubble.

The Cultural Power of Cinema included point of sale data to demonstrate how 98% of all cinema showings are a shared viewing experience. This is far more than co-viewing figures for broadcast and streaming.

This is set against a background of IPA’s Touchpoints survey which found that people are spending more time alone and there being fewer “water cooler” moments on television.

The wider study revealed that there is a lack of togetherness in society. This is particularly notable among young adults that there is a feeling of isolation from others. Despite this, people are still craving moments of togetherness and cinema is one of the events (alongside the likes of gigs, live sports etc.) that can create a positive shared experience:

According to the results:

55% of adults agreed ‘there is no sense of community anymore’

60% of 16-34s agreed they ‘feel distant from other people’

7 in 10 agreed that ‘events that bring people together are more important now than ever’

71% agreed ‘being part of a big audience enhances the experience’ at the cinema

60% always/often experience a sense of connection to others in the cinema

“Cinema provides a powerful shared experience in which people feed off the energy of others, and makes us feel closer with others. This highlights the continued importance of cinemas within communities – and how they are particularly key in the context of battling social disconnection and isolation among younger adults,” said Andrew Tenzer, Co-Founder, Burst Your Bubble.

Questions also focused on brands and advertising.

62% of cinemagoers agreed they ‘like to get there in good time to see ads and trailers’

67% of 16-34s agreed they ‘enjoy talking about the ads with other people’ at the cinema

The two companies analysed 5 campaigns that were running on cinema screens across May and June (categories included automotive, gaming, entertainment & leisure, retail and telecoms).

The results showed that exposure to the ads in cinema delivered significant uplifts for brands on metrics relating to social impact, brand fame and signalling:


1.       +50% uplift in ‘community’ association (the brands are associated with bringing people together and inclusivity)

2.       +106% uplift in ‘universalism’ association (the brands being associated with phrases including broad-minded and social justice)


3.       +12% uplift in ‘everyone knows this brand’

4.       +26% uplift in ‘everyone likes this brands’


5.       +37% uplift in agreement that ‘If I use this brand, most people think I’ve made a good choice’

6.       +21% uplift in associating the brands with ‘high quality products and services’

“Co-viewing is important because people enjoy talking about what they are watching together,” explained Karen Stacey, CEO, Digital Cinema Media.

“For cinema, the ads and trailers are seen as an integral component to the whole experience – we place your brands at the heart of human connection. This is why we believe brands should include cinema as part of their AV mix to maximise talkability around key launch moments, and maximise the cultural power of their own brand.”

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