Theatrical movement

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Jim Poh considered using TV to launch BMW of North America's Mini Cooper. But the VP-director of creative content distribution for Crispin Porter Bogusky, Miami, instead inked a deal with National Cinema Network for :45 and :60 cinema spots. "The attentiveness level is better" for in-theater commercials than TV, he said, adding that theater ads about equal the cost per thousand for prime-time TV but reach Mini's audience better than TV.

Prices for in-theater commercials generally range from $250,000 to over $1 million, said Laura Adler, VP-marketing at NCN, the ad representative for some 10,000 screens.

Research done for NCN by Nielsen New Media Research last year shows moviegoers had a 78% recall of marketers who advertised during NCN's preshow countdown-the few minutes of commercials that run when the house lights are still on. Their recall of ads on slides during the 20 minutes before the pre-show commercials was 66%.

But the cutoff time for on-screen commercials is limited to about four minutes, the research shows. Said Ms. Adler: "There is a point where [moviegoers] don't want to see one advertiser after another."

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