Big Cinemas: Scaling up slide advertising

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media | August 05, 2009
Big Cinemas plans to scale up its slide advertising business across 209 properties spread out across Maharashtra, Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh

Big Cinemas, a division of Adlabs Films, is set to scale up and give impetus to its slide advertising business, with an eye on attracting retail sector advertisers through what it calls 'Big Cinemas Classifieds'.

Classified advertisement in cinema is an old concept, wherein communication messages are displayed, with or without audio, using slides on the cinema screen.

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So what's the novelty factor attached to Big Cinemas Classifieds? Arun Tyagi, business head, cinema sales, Big Cinemas, says, "At present, cinema advertising commands a share of Rs 80 to Rs 100 crore out of the total advertising revenue of the media industry, pegged at Rs 25,000 crore.

"When it comes to its share in cinema advertising, slide advertising barely manages a 1 per cent share in the total ad pie. This leaves us with the opportunity of increasing the base of clients by turning to the retail segment and attracting educational and real estate players to slide advertising."

He also shares that traditionally, it's the big corporate houses which have been spending considerable money on cinema advertising. However, over the years, the industry has by and large missed tapping into the potential retail advertisers. Big Cinemas' effort is geared towards developing the retail category in cinema by impressing upon advertisers that slide advertising offers an economical option.

In multiplexes, cinema advertising occurs in two forms, on-screen and off-screen. On-screen advertising comprises slide advertising and commercial (spot) advertising. Off-screen advertising includes static advertising and activations. Static form of advertising, in its turn, includes pillar branding, entry and exit door branding, floor stickers, ticket jackets, seat branding and washroom mirror branding, among others. On the other hand, activations include any event/activity inside or outside the cinema hall.

Big Cinemas has 209 properties across regions such as Mumbai, Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. The cinema chain will put its weight behind promoting slide advertising by attracting clients for its 43 screens in Mumbai. Subsequently, it will offer advertisers the option of taking up advertising in other places, with 32 properties in Maharashtra, 26 in Delhi and 21-30 properties in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat respectively.

Tyagi claims that slide advertising turns out be a cheaper platform in comparison to the print or TV media. An individual slide costs anything between Rs 80-100. An advertiser will have the option of having his message running on the cinema screen for a week. A slide will be displayed for 10 seconds at a time.

Big Cinemas has defined the available inventory for slide advertising by attaching a premium depending on when the particular slide is played during the movie. For example, classifieds played at the start of the movie or immediately after the interval come at a higher price in comparison to advertisement placed, say, at the end of the screening.

Sharing further details on the inventory, Tyagi informs, "When it comes to on-screen cinema, total advertising inventory available is about 22 minutes. Out of this, paid inventory (as part of which commercials and slide advertising is played) stretches up to 10-12 minutes. The rest actually makes up for the public service advertisements, movie trailers and announcements."

To reach out to possible clients, Big Cinemas has roped in dedicated local press depots and agencies which already provide space in a medium such as print to their clients. This has been done to facilitate easy and immediate accessibility for interested local advertisers.

For Big Cinemas, tying up with local agencies makes sense as these agencies have easy access to clients and they are better equipped to present interested parties with the option of looking at slide advertising as an alternative potential advertising option. Moreover, individually approaching local advertisers could have been a cumbersome exercise for the chain.

Without sharing the specifics of revenue estimates for the coming months, Tyagi mentions that the objective is to increase slide advertising's contribution to 10-15 per cent within a year. This implies that if Big Cinemas does a business of Rs 100, then slide advertising's contribution to it should amount to Rs 10-15.

Big Cinemas claims to have roped in advertisers from the education sector, including advertisers such as Alliance Scholars, Pranveer Singh Institute of Technology (PSIT) and Acme Institute.

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