Commentary

Samsung Makes Biggest Cinema Buy Ever

With its new Galaxy S III phone hitting the market soon, Samsung is pulling out all the stops in a huge advertising blitz -- including the biggest cinema advertising campaign ever executed, in partnership with National CineMedia

The campaign will run all summer long across NCM’s entire network of around 18,000 screens nationwide as part of its FirstLook pre-show package of entertainment and advertising, which should put the budget for the cinema ad component at $20 million or more (NCM wouldn’t comment, but comparisons with other cinema ad campaigns confirm it should be well into eight figures; Ad Age earlier reported that Samsung is more than doubling its 2011 budget for promoting Galaxy products this year).

The centerpiece of the campaign is a two-minute-long 3D spot featuring two of the 20somethings from Samsung’s earlier campaign promoting the S II, not-so-gently mocking Apple fanboys (in which one of them reminds the other, snarkily, “Dude, you’re a barrista”). This time around, while appearing to wreak havoc on the theater from the projection booth, the guys demonstrate one of the big new features of the S III: users can share content with each other simply by tapping the phones, which employ near field technology.

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The campaign also includes a first-of-its-kind 3D interactive crowd motion game, designed by Audience Entertainment, running at a limited number of theaters equipped with the necessary motion sensor technology. In the game, the audience has to work together to make two phones (which appear to be “hovering” in the ether) touch to share content -- thus demonstrating the key new feature again, this time with audience participation.

The record-breaking cinema ad buy also draws on NCM’s other channels, including interactive kiosks and NCM’s Lobby Entertainment Network, which consists of 2,800 screens in 1,300 movie theater lobbies; an interactive mobile component using NCM’s Movie Night Out app; and an online component using NCM’s portfolio of movie and entertainment-related sites.

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