CinemaCon 2014: Cinema advertising spending reaches record level

CinemaCon 2014: Cinema advertising spending reaches record level
An ad spoofing action movies features an M&M character who urges moviegoers to silence their cellphones during screenings. (NCM)

Advertisers are spending more money than ever to promote their products in movie theaters.

Cinema advertising revenues reached a record level of $677.9 million in 2013, up 6.5% from the prior year, the Cinema Advertising Council, a national trade association, reported Wednesday.

The figures include revenues from local, regional and national advertisers representing more than 90 brands in five leading sales categories: automotive, computer software, consumer electronics, consumer products and television. This marks the highest cinema advertising revenue since the CAC began measuring it in 2002.

The CAC Report is based on data independently tabulated by Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co. from CAC members, which make up approximately 90% of all cinema screens and box office admissions in the U.S.

"This growth is a result of more new brands moving into cinema, the unique power of the movie theater as a venue for creative, engaging advertising, and a movement by agencies to a more video-neutral approach that places cinema alongside TV and online platforms," said CAC President Katy Loria. "We are optimistic about this revenue momentum, and the direction the marketplace is headed with a strong start to 2014 as we enter upfront season."

Regional/National spending once again made up the vast majority of cinema advertising revenue, 78.3%, with spending up 5.7% to $530,569,000 from $502,070,000 in 2012. Local revenue, accounting for 21.7%, grew 9.7% to $147,388,000 in 2013, up from $134,334,000 the year prior.

The council also announced a new ad campaign to reach millennials -- a demographic that is harder to reach due to media fragmentation across screens of all sizes.

The promotion, called "Movies Never Get Old," will launch later this spring as CAC members NCM Media Networks and Screenvision -- along with many TV networks and digital content companies -- unveil their upfront presentations to buyers and planners.