In-Theater Ad Spending Grows

Movie theater ads are now a hot commodity

Cinema advertising (aka in-theater advertising) spending reached $455 million in 2006 and will grow 17.5% in 2008 over 2007 levels, according to Jack Myers data cited in a recent Brandweek article.

Stu Ballatt, senior vice president of marketing at Screenvision and president of the Cinema Advertising Council, told Brandweek that in-theater ad inventory is becoming a hot commodity.

“Advertisers are realizing the scarcity of the inventory and, from a strategic point, they have to lock it up,” Mr. Ballatt said. “They are using it not as a temporary activity but as part of their overall marketing plan.” Some inventory, Mr. Ballatt noted, is reserved up to nine months in advance.

Screenvision and National CineMedia control about 80% of the nation’s 38,000 theater screens between them.

Some of the budget for in-theater ads is coming from traditional media.

“We don’t know what the numbers are, but there are already dollars coming from traditional primetime and other broadcast channels that are going into video, and video is going to cinema among other things,” said Norm Chait, senior vice president of MediaVest.