Advertisers move to the silver screen

Movie theater

TEXT OF STORY

KAI RYSSDAL: If you've turned to the movies to get an escape from the real world, nice try. The show before the show just keeps getting longer, and it's not just previews. Big advertisers are moving from the small screen to the big one.

Stacey Vanek Smith reports.


STACEY VANEK-SMITH: Movie theater ads are a half-billion dollar business, and growing around 15 percent a year.

MOVIE ADS: For the ultimate ice cream experience, Cold Stone Creamery.

Yeah, our lead wants a Diet Coke.

Well get it!

Get me a Diet Coke Right now.

TV, the traditional mecca for ad dollars, is losing ground. Norm Chait is Senior Vice President for ad-buying giant MediaVest. It's considering moving 100 million ad-dollars from primetime TV to the silver screen.

NORM CHAIT: What prompted us was the continued ratings erosion in the traditional linear television marketplace.

Granted, $100 million is a sliver of the $9 billion primetime TV ad market, but it marks a sea-change, says marketing consultant Burt Flickinger. He says TV is losing younger viewers to other media, like the Internet, and recorders like TiVo mean ads often get skipped. Then there's the writer's strike, which means no new episodes of popular shows. Flickinger says the movies present an attractive alternative.

BURT FLICKINGER: It's also a way to reach a consumer that typically has higher levels of disposable income, and also reaches a younger consumer demographic.

Flickinger says another advantage of the movies is the captive audience. A bunch of young people sitting still -- the holy grail of advertising.

I'm Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

About the author

Stacey Vanek Smith is a senior reporter for Marketplace, where she covers banking, consumer finance, housing and advertising.

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