More DOOH Say Film Studios

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

The management of San Antonio, Texas-based Clear Channel Communications Inc. says that it’s seeing increasing activity from major film studios across the company’s industry-leading radio, digital, mobile and outdoor platforms.

Entertainment companies benefiting from the unparalleled reach, engagement and flexibility of the company’s assets also include Disney, FOX, Lionsgate Entertainment, Sony Pictures and Warner Brothers.

“Entertainment companies have some of the most creative marketers in the world and the intense competition for ticket buyers and viewers is driving them to unprecedented levels of innovation,” says John Partilla, executive vice-president, and president of global media sales, at Clear Channel. “No one has more effective digital platforms than Clear Channel and we’re seeing entertainment companies use our Web, mobile and outdoor properties to offer digital brand experiences that intensify and extend the success of their films. This is some of the most impressive marketing we’ve ever seen.”

Among the innovations is full-motion video boards converted into giant movie screens. Clear Channel Communications’ digital platforms comprise digital billboards, full-motion video boards, radio-station Web sites, custom microsites, and the iheartradio online and mobile network.

Entertainment companies embraced Clear Channel Outdoor’s digital billboard networks strongly for the first time in 2009, leveraging the boards’ ability to dynamically change content to feature specific aspects of a film’s marketing campaign. Leading the charge here: Disney, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures and Warner Brothers. Getting a jump on 2010 are Disney, MGM and Universal Pictures – all have booked time to promote upcoming releases.

In another innovative use of digital boards, Clear Channel Outdoor plans ‘Movie Nights Under the Lights’, enabling a studio or cable channel to air a different feature film each Monday on the company’s giant SpectacolorHD video board in the heart of Times Square. Running throughout July and August, the campaign will build on the highly successful screening of the first feature-length film on the SpectacolorHD board last Memorial Day. On the Town, starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra as sailors on leave in New York City, aired during ‘Fleet Week’.

“The ability to use video billboards as a broadcast platform is transforming the way marketers look at Clear Channel Outdoor,” says Partilla. “We could be witnessing the birth of a third broadcast medium.”

More than 560,000 people pass through Times Square each day, making it one of the most effective ways to engage consumers with experiential marketing.

Clear Channel Radio is collaborating with studios to create custom digital experiences that extend the reach of major films. Lionsgate Entertainment and FOX are among the leaders here among entertainment companies.

For example, to support the DVD release of A Haunting in Connecticut, short-form radio spots including five-second ‘adlets’ and 15-second ads were used to build heavy frequency (60 times per week) across 55 stations in highly targeted markets. Because of the mix of spot lengths, the campaign was able to rotate four different spots, avoiding over-saturation.

And FOX became the first sponsor to create a mobile ‘roadblock’ within Clear Channel’s iheartradio application to promote the premiere of GLEE. A gateway ad appeared while the mobile application loaded onto iPhones and BlackBerry phones, and again on every third user interaction such as switching a station.

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