How is cinema advertising helping small businesses to advertise.

While cinema has been central part of the Indian community for over 30 years, the past 6 years have seen an impressive growth in the number of cinema goers in the country with a huge array of cinema content that entertains all audiences. Just like Brad Pitt once mentioned that he loves the colour and drama in the Indian cinema, the numbers indicate that the Indian audience feel the same. India recorded a sale of over 2.2 million tickets in the year 2016 and with 87% of cinema goers exposed to the ads, the rate of cinema advertising has gained momentum, as it is far reaching and a powerful medium for advertisers to connect with the masses.

How is this big market helping the small businesses to advertise more effectively?

1)Quality of Exposure-there is no denying that cinema delivers only a fraction in terms of reach but it is undoubtedly the best specific marketing campaign that offers precise demographic and geographical targeting unlike television demographics that are vague and difficult to pin down.  Theatres draw people from within a 20 km radius mile and so whether it is the urban, affluent and educated segment that can be reached out through the multiplexes or the rural belt through single screen theatres, the niche potential customers are easy to determine leading to cost effectiveness with reduced wastage and better ROI.

2)Enhanced Audience Captivity -According to a Cross Media Database, conducted for digital cinema media, cinema is one of the hardest hitting channels in terms of audience engagement. It is eight times more effective for the brand to stand out and four times more in terms of emotionally engaging the audience, as there is less clutter on the screen to distract the audience and unlike T.V, cinema ads cannot be skipped by changing channels. This receptivity enables the advertisers to send home a powerful, clear and uninterrupted message about a product or service which the audience is twice as likely to recall.

3)High Production Potential-The wide expansive screens and the sophisticated, superior audio systems of the multiplexes are tremendous assets for producing cinema ads and add to the premium quotient of the brand. Due to the longer time frame, ad creators have more creative freedom like in T.V but at the local level and additionally can afford to take more plot risks through detailed narratives, the result of which is an extremely visually appealing ad that the audience tends to register and recall better.

All the above factors contribute generously and effectively to the rise in the cinema advertising rate.

But there’s more.

4)Effective means to connect with the local community-50% of the movie goers are interested in knowing more about the local businesses. 65% of them agree they should support local businesses and 43% of the viewers actually land up shopping locally.

Cinema is the only medium that allows local businesses to sit beside blockbusters that producers spend in crores to get people to the theatres, and connect with the local community via the big silver screen. This benefit then pours out to the mobile and other online services letting the advertisers be in the loop of the entire movie –going journey.

5)Availability of advertising options-the toughest challenge for small business owners is to get face to face meetings and credible testimonials for their product/service. Advertisers can now tap into an extended form of advertising that is called Offline cinema advertising which includes in-theatre experiences such as corner stories, slides and videos on the screens and cinema branding within the theatre complex that increase lead generation, enhance brand building and offer engagement opportunities.

6)Dual benefits– the audience are usually small business owners themselves. When they sit there in the theatre listening and responding to the ads they are not only consumers but are also being connected to other small businesses, making them potential advertisers who want to reach out to those companies.


Although cinema rates are the lowest among non-mass media, and there is an increase in the cinema advertising rate, it should not be considered as the only medium to advertise effectively. The business owners must take in to account that it is an occasional treat for the consumers to go to a cinema. Maybe once a week or a month and hence the ads lack an everyday, consistent reach to all the audience. This is especially an important aspect if high reach is needed in a short span of time.

Secondly our preemptive evasion of ads can club the cinema ads with the other multitude of ads seen and heard in this ad –saturated market, thereby minimizing the effect.

And sometimes a lack of cooperation between the theatres restricts the advertisers to showcase their ads simultaneously in various theatres hence detracting from precise demographic targeting.

So while we may not pretend that cinema is the greatest thing on earth, but the cinema advertising rating is on a high and it DOES deliver.


Author-Alefiyah Kapasi




Disclaimer-All images have been taken from for illustrative purposes only.



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