Imax is adding its own summer feature to the blockbusters flooding theaters this season.
The 50-year-old entertainment company is unveiling its largest brand campaign to date this Friday with "Films to the Fullest." The global effort is designed to highlight Imax's immersive cinematic elements such as custom audio and wide-screen visuals, executives say. It's a push that the company, which has headquarters in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, has been preparing for since last year's hiring of Chief Marketing Officer JL Pomeroy and Denny Tu, exec VP of global brand and creative, along with the appointment of TBWAChiatDay as global creative agency in March.
"We're not a traditional brand, so we didn't want to take the traditional routes to market," says Tu. "It's not about one big TV ad and saying we're done—it's a consistent, always-on brand presence." He notes that the campaign aims to educate moviegoers, who face a sea of choices, about what Imax offers versus competitors. It's also likely aimed at convincing moviegoers to pony up for its theaters during a time when overall box office is declining. An adult ticket to an evening performance in an Imax theater in New York City costs $25.49, compared to $17 for a regular screening.
Imax's effort comes at a time when moviegoers are eschewing theaters in favor of watching films on the couch at home. Box office overall last year was the lowest since 1992, estimated at 1.2 billion tickets, a 5.8 percent decline compared with 2016, according to Box Office Mojo, which tracks ticket revenue.Ad unit
Imax has nearly 1,400 theaters.
The new work, which the Omnicom-owned TBWAChiatDay created with Imax in four months, will include a heavy social and digital presence, as well as in-theater marketing. Imax works with OMD on media duties. Three key stories, "Dogfight," an aerial adventure, "The Storm," a drama in the sea, and "Exploration," which highlights the future, are present in the push and the themes will continue in future aspects of the campaign, Tu says. "Films to the Fullest," Imax's largest branding campaign in terms of both monetary investment and media, will roll out in 80 countries.
"The mandate with Chiat was, 'We do not want something clever, we just want something clear to cut through the noise,'" says Pomeroy.
Imax reported earnings this week. For the second quarter, revenue rose 12 percent over the year-earlier period to $98.3 million. Net income was $10.3 million.