NCM Says Bigger Is Better At Cinema Upfront

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

NCM Media Networks, the largest national cinema network reaching moviegoers on-screen, on-site, online and on the go, showed brands ‘The Bigger Picture’ in advertising Wednesday at its second annual Upfront presentation at New York City’s AMC Loews Lincoln Square movie theater.

Earl Weihe, COO; Joanne Cetkino, Sales Director; Tom Reilly, SVP Sales, NCM

NCM’s Earl Weihe, COO; Joanne Cetkino, Sales Director; Tom Reilly, SVP Sales

“The Bigger Picture in cinema has always been about content, scale and engagement, but we’re now expanding it beyond the theater to include the world of mobile and social — helping brands reach audiences at every step of the movie-going process,” Cliff Marks, president of sales and marketing with NCM Media Networks, told the audience of nearly 700. “Coming off of the biggest year ever at the box office, NCM is a viable option for national TV and video upfront dollars, especially considering the enormous weekend reach of the NCM network and the continued fragmentation that is affecting both viewership and engagement in other media.”

National CineMedia’s network reaches over 1,500 theaters and approximately 19,300 screens with 3 million+ seats in 183 DMAs (49 of the top 50) in the U.S., with an annual audience of approximately 710 million moviegoers. NCM is America’s No. 1 weekend network, consistently ranking higher in reach than any other network on Fridays and Saturdays.

Jaime Feit, Trish Wang, Planners, Mediacom

Jaime Feit, Trish Wang,
Planners, Mediacom

NCM showcased the best Hollywood content from the upcoming movie season, and then shone the spotlight on the many ways that brands can be a part of this movie magic, from its pre-show program to film tie-ins to exclusive partnerships with the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes and the Tribeca Film Festival.

“Bigger really is better,” said Marks. “Not only does our NCM network reach over 700 million moviegoers a year, but the high level of engagement from our audience is unique to the cinema medium. Our viewers make a decision to go to the movies — they choose to come out with friends and family to watch our 40’ screen and be entertained.”

Stuart Walker, SVP, Partnership Marketing; Erica Linn, National Account Director, NCM

Stuart Walker, SVP,
Partnership Marketing;
Erica Linn, National Account Director, NCM

Because the social activity of ‘going to the movies’ extends beyond the theater, NCM also unveiled ways for brands to go beyond the big screen and reach audiences before, during and after the movie. NCM has created a huge online and mobile entertainment network, featuring over 40 top entertainment-related websites and over 100 mobile applications that ‘connect the dots’ of the movie-going experience. Reaching over 50 million monthly uniques, NCM’s Online and Mobile Networks will now expand the FirstLook digital entertainment and advertising pre-feature program to digital video and second-screen mobile applications, including:

  • FirstLook5 – A new five-minute online and mobile video version of NCM’s FirstLook pre-show, FirstLook5 features world-class entertainment content along with advertising for a truly integrated original video platform;
  • FirstLook Sync App – NCM’s second-screen app will launch later this month as part of Regal Entertainment Group’s Regal App, the mobile platform of the largest and most geographically diverse theater circuit in the U.S.. FirstLook Sync seamlessly interacts with NCM’s FirstLook pre-show through audio recognition technology, designed to give movie audiences direct response capability and automatically remind them to be courteous and turn off their cell phone when FirstLook ends and the movie trailers begin. FirstLook Sync will also be available as a stand-alone app, and will be integrated into NCM’s Movie Night Out app and other NCM-affiliated movie theater circuit apps going forward.

Fatima Winfrey, OOH Coordinator, Horizon Media

Fatima Winfrey, OOH Coordinator, Horizon Media

As mentioned in our earlier published exclusive interview with Marks, NCM also announced new deals with industry leaders Twitter and Foursquare that will allow advertisers to be a part of the social conversation surrounding movies. NCM is developing a weekly multi-platform series highlighting the latest trending movie topics, produced by NCM and powered by Twitter and its real-time data. This weekly series will be featured on-screen and on Twitter, giving movie audiences a chance to continue the conversation and influence upcoming episodes before and after the movies. Over the next few weeks, NCM and Twitter will be taking this concept to market to find a presenting sponsor.

Foursquare has more than 3.5 billion checks-ins since its founding, with movies being one of the most popular categories. NCM is working with Foursquare to offer people local content and offers that are relevant to their movie-going experience. The new NCM Foursquare ad program will roll out through NCM’s regional sales team, bringing Foursquare’s unique combination of check-ins, local search and consumer loyalty to NCM’s regional and local clients.

 Joan Kornhaber,  Cecilia Parossi, Active International

Joan Kornhaber, Cecilia Parossi,
Active International

“Going to the movies is one of America’s original and unique social experiences, so it is only natural that conversations about movies continue in social media,” said Marks. “By expanding our digital capabilities through smart partnerships, NCM can now offer upfront buyers the full power of cinema — on-screen, on-site, online and on mobile devices.

With its new deal with Entertainment Weekly, also mentioned in our Interview with Marks, Jess Cagle, editor, will host red carpet vignettes on-screen in NCM’s FirstLook pre-show, bringing moviegoers the latest in movie and entertainment news from the publication.

NCM’s upfront strategy, begun last year, has gained significant traction in the marketplace. To date, in addition to upfront commitments from its FirstLook content partners ABC Networks, A&E Television Networks, CBS Entertainment, Hasbro, Microsoft, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Turner Broadcasting System, NCM has booked upfront deals with clients in the Retail, QSR, Insurance, Military, Home Video, and Import Auto categories.

One Response to “NCM Says Bigger Is Better At Cinema Upfront”

  1. Connie Says:

    NCM or Screenvision DO NOT have a bigger reach than any TV network, even on the weekends. Their weekly audience DOES outperform most every individual TV program that runs in the same period – especially the individual programs that air on Fridays and Saturdays. A subtle difference but an important one, especially when pricing efficiency comparisons come into play. Cinema is certainly coming into direct competition with the top-rated individual TV shows/programs on a reach and price basis, but not entire networks.

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