NCM announces new social-media initiatives at NYC upfront


NCM Media Networks held its second annual upfront presentation, “The Bigger Picture,” at New York City’s AMC Loews Lincoln Square movie theatre on May 15.

“The Bigger Picture in cinema has always been about content, scale and engagement, but we’re now expanding it beyond the theatre to include the world of mobile and social—helping brands reach audiences at every step of the moviegoing process,” said Cliff Marks, NCM’s president of sales and marketing. “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 mediums.”

NCM reports that it is America’s number-one weekend network, consistently ranking higher in reach than any other network on Fridays and Saturdays, according to Nielsen Monitor Plus. NCM’s reach has also grown year-over-year to make it a top ten network, ranking on average as the number eight network during key sweeps periods (up from number 11).

At the upfront, NCM showcased Hollywood content from the upcoming summer movie season, including a guest appearance by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro presenting new footage and the new trailer from his upcoming sci-fi action-adventure Pacific Rim.

Because the social activity of “going to the movies” extends beyond the theatre, NCM also unveiled new ways for brands to go beyond the big screen and reach audiences before, during and after the movie. NCM has created an online and mobile entertainment network featuring over 40 top entertainment-related websites and over 100 mobile applications that “connect the dots” of the moviegoing experience. Reaching over 50 million monthly uniques, NCM’s Online and Mobile Networks will now expand its “FirstLook” pre-show to digital video and second-screen mobile applications, including “FirstLook5,” a new five-minute online and mobile video version of the pre-show.

The 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 theatre circuit in the U.S. FirstLook Sync 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 standalone app, and will be integrated into NCM’s “Movie Night Out” app and other NCM-affiliated movie theatre circuit apps going forward.

NCM also announced new deals with 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. The new NCM Foursquare advertising 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.

NCM also announced a new deal with Entertainment Weekly to help brands create custom sponsored content around Hollywood buzz. Editor Jess Cagle will host new red-carpet vignettes onscreen in NCM’s FirstLook pre-show, bringing moviegoers the latest in movie and entertainment news from the magazine.