CoolSigns Coming To A Theater Near You
A new digital media ad format from AdSpace Networks, CoolSigns play moving images on flat-panel plasma display screens in movie theaters. The ads are projected on 50" diagonal screens installed near the concession stand.
"We're always looking for new ways to advertise," says Ben Freda, Arjay's vice president of sales, who oversees sales in parts of New York and New Jersey where his ads are now running in 16 to 20 theaters located near Arjay's retail outlets.
The CoolSign ads pick up elements from Arjay's print ads, “but it looks like a movie," Freda says. "The phone appears, then the disclaimers slide in and snowflakes fall in the background. It was very impressive when I saw it."
Clients provide the ad elements and AdSpace creates the CoolSigns, delivering the ads to the flat panel screens through high speed networks using a number of formats, including Flash, jpeg, mpeg and avi.
AdSpace uses a network manager software program to manage the media, change data elements and schedule the ads, which can be programmed for different locations, times of day and demographics. "We sell advertising across the displays based on DMA across the entire network or theater by theater," says AdSpace vice president of sales Dave Bialek.
Ads are typically 7.5 to 15 seconds long and play 12 times per display per hour. AdSpace runs loops of ads from different advertisers that are typically three to five minutes and run throughout a theater's operating hours.
The company currently runs ads in 45 theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco and smaller markets, with other cities to be added soon.
CoolSigns may someday appear in casinos, health clubs and shopping malls, Bialek says, but for now movie theaters are ideal because they provide an upscale, youth-oriented audience. Forty percent of movie goers are 12 to 24 years old and equally divided by gender. "The demographic is very desirable to advertisers," Bialek says. "Movie theaters are very targeted and young people are our market," Freda notes.
People often see ads inside the theaters before the movies start. Now they can see them before they even get into their seats.
Next Century Media conducted a study of CoolSigns in movie theaters late last year, comparing CoolSign ads to prime time TV ads. The study found that more people recalled the CoolSign ad than the TV ad a day after seeing the ads (5% vs. 4%).
In addition to Arjay, CoolSign advertisers have included Coca-Cola, Warner Brothers, Disney, MGM and a variety of local retailers.
"It's given us brand recognition and notoriety," Freda says. "They come into the stores and say they saw the sign in the theater." The company has hubs in other parts of the country that are negotiating with AdSpace now, so CoolSigns may be coming soon to a theater near you.