Cinema Ads to Be Tracked by IAG Research

National CineMedia Signs on for Recall, Likeability Surveys

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NEW YORK ( -- National CineMedia, one of the largest cinema-ad networks in North America, has signed IAG Research to a three-year pact to measure the effectiveness and performance of ads, promos and content that run in movie theaters in advance of the main feature. The deal is another sign that more advertisers are considering commercials in the movie theaters as they question the effectiveness of traditional TV advertising.

IAG, a New York company that measures viewers' responses to TV ads and product placements, will look at how movie audiences recall and like various pieces of cinema advertising. The firm will also be able to help NCM determine how reaction to in-theater ads compares with reaction to TV commercials, said Alan Gould, IAG's co-CEO.

Increasing number of venues
The partnership underscores how marketers are considering new venues for their ads as digital technology allows video to run in places from movie theaters to malls to taxicabs. MediaVest, a Publicis Groupe media-buying firm, recently confirmed it was talking with clients about moving more than $100 million in ad spending earmarked for prime-time network TV into cinema-ad networks operated by NCM and Screenvision.

In 2006, cinema advertising increased 15% to $455.6 million, according to the Cinema Advertising Council, up from $394.8 million in 2005.

"The impact of a giant-screen ad can be overwhelming," Mr. Gould said. "Not every medium wants to be quantified. These guys realized that they were a lot better off being quantified and compared."

NCM routinely shows ads sprinkled around pieces of content from entertainment companies such as A&E Television Networks, Discovery Communications, NBC Universal and Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. These "pre-shows," which typically take place as audiences file into theaters, include national, regional and local ads, and typically end approximately at the advertised show time. NCM rotates the content segments every two weeks between theaters, and can tailor the presentations to specific film-rating categories.

NCM's national network includes more than 15,000 screens. That sort of scale is helping other companies start to duplicate the reach of broadcast-network TV, particularly as digital video recorders and audience erosion have prompted marketers to think more seriously about what place TV has in an overall media plan.
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