For In-Cinema, Toyota Taps Screenvision, Shazam

Toyota is running in-cinema pre-roll ads for the 2014 Corolla compact. The deal, via in-cinema advertising media company Screenvision, involves a real-time consumer-engagement extension of a 60-second movie pre-roll ad for the car, via AOR SaatchiLA. The digital music-identification application Shazam serves as conduit for activating a national sweepstakes.

In essence, movie viewers who have the app on their smartphones can "Shazam" the Corolla spot while it's running on-screen. Those who do are automatically entered for a chance to win a new Corolla. 

John McCauley, SVP, Strategic Alliances at Screenvision, tells Marketing Daily that strong awareness and a captive audience make cinema an attractive ad channel for brands. "We know we have 56% recall, so we are looking to take advantage of that audience, who then walk out of the theater with that brand [top of mind]."

He notes that Shazam, with which Screenvision has done four other activated ad programs since last November, also lets people audio-tag TV ads that have either music or voiceover running the background. The 13-year-old platform says that globally, over 375 million people have used Shazam, and it has over 75 million active users. "It’s a very attractive  platform for advertisers," says McCauley. 

Meanwhile, Screenvision -- which is in 2,500 movie theaters on 14,800 screens -- will run a series of on-screen prompts during pre-roll mentioning the impending pre-feature tag-able ad. Following that notice is a prompt noting that since the ad is coming up, users should prep their phones -- and finally that the ad is about to run. "You will also see a 'bug' at the bottom of the app, so the consumer is aware they have a chance to further engage with the ad. It's a great lead-generation tool," he says.

The cinema media buy offers a big canvas for Toyota: Screenvision, per McCauley, gets an audience of 10 million per week, and 450 million people per year. "We do a lot of business with the auto category, but Toyota is the first automaker to leverage our relationship with Shazam, he says. "But pretty much every automaker has run in-cinema with us, especially at the start of the football season when a lot of automakers are especially active in market."

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