Let’s Go To The Preshow

Going to the movies is something that just about everyone does. Whether it is the go-to plan on a rainy afternoon, or the spontaneous event while on a trip to the mall, movies will always draw us in. According to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), 67% of the U.S./Canada population age 2 and up went to the movies in 2009.
So while going to the movies has mass appeal, it is not by any means a cheap venture. With ticket prices averaging almost $8 and concession snacks selling at all time highs, it is refreshing to know that we should start to see an improvement in the preshow entertainment come September.
Screenvision, a provider of in-cinema advertising, is on a mission to liven up the typical movie going experience of trivia, static ads and stock music with new blocks of what they are calling “advertainmnent.” Each 20-minute segment will focus more on pop culture entertainment and celebrity interaction rather than the same stale word scrambles and dancing popcorn that we’ve all come to know.
For instance, Timbaland will appear in mini videos throughout the new segments, discussing his musical influences. Paula Abdul is said to be a part of the new preshow, too, but her role has not been disclosed. Nascar will also be on board to provide video that will be sponsored by advertisers.
One of the biggest hopes for Screenvision is to create a lasting impression on the audience through active participation and interaction with mobile devices. It is unclear just how they will pull that off, but it does seem like a worthwhile cause. The company cites in its own research that 23% of moviegoers are in their seats for about 16 minutes before the trailers start and 50% of the audience is seated 10 minutes before showtime. This means that marketers are graced with a large window of time to engage the audience, all of whom who have voluntarily paid money to come sit in that theater and watch the screen. If you are an advertiser, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Even with the less than stellar preshow clips that we see now, as a spectator you still find yourself playing along and paying attention. Imagine what would happen if they were actually fun and interesting. I hope Screenvision takes this approach in the right direction and disguises the “ad” as best they can creatively. While we are all for being entertained and amused before the show, we don’t need to be bombarded with more obvious ads. We get enough of that everywhere else like TV, online etc. We go to the movies to escape from the everyday for a bit and it should stay that way.
I’m curious to know how Screenvision will rotate and when they will create new segments, since I can’t imagine that the “oh wow” factor will last if the same ones are run again and again. With some consumers being regulars at the theater, they could become desensitized very quickly if the segments aren’t replaced frequently enough.
Keep an eye out for these “advertainment” blocks to hit your local theater in September. My favorite part of going to the movies is watching the trailers, but if Screenvision pulls off this feat, I could see myself becoming a fan. Along with some great trailers, it would be another consolation if the actual movie was a bomb.

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