In the year since Screenvision’s last upfront, plenty has happened in the cinema world, from Movie Pass switching business models and angering customers to the box office success of Avengers: Endgame.
It’s partly why Screenvison is leaning in to the narrative that the movie industry’s more vibrant and alive than ever before for its pitch to advertisers, both in terms of ticket sales and attendance, according to John Partilla, CEO of Screenvision.
“[Movies are] one of the more stable mediums that are out there in terms of viewerships,” Partilla said. “We have to really remind people that this is one of the few remaining places to really connect in to premium, captivated audiences with a platform that’s increasingly stable and robust.”
To back up that message, the company is rolling out is a smart screen network, which is really a digital movie pixel to give advertisers the attribution and retargeting tools they need. Screenvision unveiled the new offering at an event Tuesday in New York that featured appearances by actor Vince Vaughn, actress Hillary Swank and a performance by Idina Menzel.
Advertisers can now watermark Screenvison’s preshow, which then connects to a consumer’s personal phone via popular apps like Spotify or Uber. The digital movie pixel can then gather all the data and provide more attributable data around brand awareness, sales and lift to advertisers. Considering Screenvision operates on 15,000 screens across more than 2,300 theaters and in all 50 states, the pixel’s potential for advertisers is bigger than before.
“Previously, we’ve been using beacons to create some tracking measurement around auditorium but we couldn’t tell which consumers were seeing which movies on which screens,” Partilla said. “Where we are now is using this digital movie pixel and then we can track which movie and which screen the audience was enjoying the movie.”
But what’s the catch for advertisers? Partilla said he believe movies are more powerful than TV or OTT, because it’s one of the only places left where advertisers can tap into a “premium, captivated audience.” And though some franchises are coming to an end this year like Star Wars and Avengers, Partilla pointed out that there’s still a slew of new movies coming next year like Wonder Woman 2, and studios are putting out “strong” movies throughout the entire year, as opposed to just during the holidays or summertime.
“We’re now fully a year-round proposition,” Partilla said, “which is why we’re able to be such a compelling alternative to other premium video platforms such as television.”
For the third year in a row, Screenvision is offering its 10-pack option that lets advertisers buy air time before knowing what the top 10 grossing films of the year will be. Partilla said the company’s seen double digit advertising revenue growth.
Additionally, Screenvision announced a partnership with the Geena Davis Institute in which Davis herself will highlight films during the preshow that reach the Institue’s GD-IQ certification for diverse and gender-balanced roles. Furthermore, Screenvision has partnered with the Association of National Advertisers’ See Her Initiative to let brands specifically choose films that align with their products.
But, Screenvision’s biggest selling point for advertisers this year was the smart screen network.
“Cinema provides one of the most memorable, high-impact messaging platforms out there,” Partilla said.