Movie Ads' Impact Ebbs As Release Date Nears
"Online advertising's impact at four weeks out was quadruple what it was a week from the release date," the study stated.
These results are likely to surprise some movie executives, said Mike Griffon, executive vice president for EyeWonder, a rich media firm that deals extensively with the movie industry. Movie studios, he said, tend to advertise most heavily immediately before an opening. "The Thursday before the movie started was when they always went crazy with TV and interactive," he said. "We hope this research is taken to heart by the clients, and they push their plans back even further."
For the study, Dynamic Logic surveyed roughly 40,000 net-goers, dividing them into two equal-size groups--one that was exposed to movie ads and another that wasn't. The study then measured the difference between the number of consumers who were aware of the advertised movies in each group.
The study found that at the period 21 to 27 days before the release of the movie, 22.5 percent more people from the group that had seen the ads were aware of the movie than the non-ad viewers. By the week before the release, that difference had shrunk to 5.4 percent.
Difference in ticket purchase intent followed the same trend, peaking 4 weeks before release at 13.9 percent, and bottoming out the week before opening night at 1.0 percent.
One of the reasons for the diminishing returns of online movie ads is that competition for dollars earmarked for movies increases as the release date approaches, according to the study. "The closer you get to the movie release date, potential audiences are more likely to be aware of competitive entertainment options for the same weekend and will become more discriminating in their choice of movies to see," stated the study.