NCM Upfront showcases new partnerships and programs
NCM Media Networks presented its third annual “The Bigger Picture” cinema upfront event in New York City on May 14, showcasing a variety of new ways for advertisers to make the big screen’s dynamic content, reach and engagement part of an upfront video strategy.
Hosted by comedian and impressionist Frank Caliendo, NCM’s upfront event at the AMC Lincoln Square movie theatre introduced media buyers, planners and brand clients to the new FirstLook pre-show with Shazam interactivity, digital, and social extensions; as well as new NCM-exclusive cinema-advertising options including marketing partnerships with Maker Studios, Ideas United and the Grammy Awards.
“Advertisers are now living and operating in a video-everywhere marketplace where consumers have more control over how and when they watch programming and if they watch ads,” said Cliff Marks, president of sales and marketing with NCM Media Networks. “We hold our event during TV upfront week because we believe that is our rightful place as one of America’s highest-rated video networks. It is a great opportunity for us to showcase our world-class content on our big screens and share the exciting new marketing partnership opportunities that we will bring to brands in the upcoming year.”
Marks continued, “NCM’s average unduplicated weekly audience represents a Nielsen rating of 7.4 in adults 18 to 49—that’s massive when you compare it to the average of 1.6 for a broadcast program or 0.9 for the top 20 cable networks in primetime. It puts our weekly FirstLook pre-show squarely in the top ten primetime shows every week throughout the year. And if you look at our biggest movie weeks, NCM’s FirstLook delivers ratings as big as the biggest live events on TV, with no DVR.”
Marks added, “Our new 2014-15 upfront pricing strategy reflects NCM’s repositioning to compete in the TV primetime and live event marketplace. Just like TV, NCM will be offering Nielsen Post Buy Analysis and demo guarantees to our upfront advertisers beginning in Q4 2014, making it easier than ever to include cinema as part of a video-agnostic upfront buy.”
NCM also introduced the concept of the industry’s first Cinema Audience Targeting Optimizer (CATO) system, expected to launch in 2015, along with the integration of the Screenvision theatres into the NCM network. Initially offered as a test to a limited number of select upfront partners, CATO will give brands the ability to create more effective media plans based on film genres that will maximize consumer targetability and minimize waste.
NCM gave their upfront event audience a first look at its new FirstLook pre-show program, which is launching this weekend on approximately 20,000 movie screens nationwide. The new, updated look and feel of the show was specially designed to provide advertisers with more organic ways to integrate a brand into the show itself. The flexible crystal graphics create individual “stages” to showcase brand content within its own FirstLook show environment.
The new FirstLook show will also be “Shazamable,” giving advertisers a way to literally put a brand in the hands of moviegoers using mobile devices. Shazam is one of the world’s most popular apps that connects people to the world around them through their mobile device, and is now working with NCM exclusively as its U.S. cinema partner. This partnership will give its 120+ million users in the U.S. the fastest, easiest way to engage with the cinema pre-show experience. When a moviegoer Shazams content in NCM’s FirstLook, they will be able to identify, explore, purchase and share that content.
“We know that moviegoers love their smartphones so much so that 85% use them before they plan a movie night out to check show times, watch a trailer, or buy a ticket,” said Dave Kupiec, executive VP of sales and marketing with NCM Media Networks. “We’ve grown our NCM Digital online and mobile networks to connect the dots with moviegoers, and now we can give our audiences a true connected-screen experience with Shazam, and even let them extend their movie experience after they leave the theatre.”
As part of the new FirstLook rollout, NCM is launching digital and social extensions of the show beyond the big screen:
* FirstLook5, a “snackable” five-minute digital video version of FirstLook with over two million views a week, will also be updated with the new FirstLook design, delivering the behind-the-scenes entertainment content right to moviegoers’ computers, tablets and smartphones.
* To extend the movie experience beyond the theatre environment, NCM introduced FirstLookYou!, a new user-generated social video platform that captures the authentic reactions of movie fans to the latest films. Using special FirstLookYou! booths in select theatre lobbies, moviegoers will be able to give their own personal 20-second video review of the movie they’ve just seen, and then share across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
NCM also announced new entertainment marketing partnerships with Maker Studios, the world's leading producer and distributor of online content, and with Ideas United, which will help advertisers tap emerging filmmakers to produce creative and engaging branded entertainment content for the big screen.