The rich media advertising provider partnered with The Aura Group--a firm that specializes in online and wireless ad solutions--to develop the application that enables movie studios to work around short lead times in terms of delivering specific movie showtimes and locations for new releases. For consumers who opt in, the local showtimes and theater information are sent directly to wireless devices from the online ad.
The MovieConnect application invites consumers to sign up to receive text messages directly from rich media ad units. Essentially, by "rolling over" a PointRoll unit, consumers can enter their mobile number and ZIP code to receive local listings and showtimes directly on their mobile device when they become available.
"We're adding a feature that enables people to opt-in to receive a showtime through an SMS [short message service] text message," said Neil Fried, manager of business development and strategy, PointRoll. "One of the problems is a film is promoted three to four weeks ahead but showtimes are revealed maybe three or four days before the actual release."
The feature resides within the rich media ad unit online. "Not only are consumers opting in to receive local showtimes, but studios can use this to create a mobile marketing campaign to send relevant messages about plot lines or contests," Fried added. "We're kind of using our existing model and extending the reach, we have a lot of interest from clients in using the SMS capability."
PointRoll last week ran a campaign in conjunction with the release of Focus Features' "Hot Fuzz." Fried said it was too soon to evaluate the results. Essentially, the technology will enable advertisers to distribute any movie-related material with targeted text messages.
The technology reflects the trend of entertainment information and promotion being delivered "on-demand" via wireless, location-based advertising alerts and promotion.
The goal of MovieConnect is also to create targeted advertising with a local focus that can help studios and theaters buff ticket sales and enable tracking of individual customer interaction and behavior.
PointRoll is keen on extending its dominion in rich media ad products to so-called "third-screen" applications.
According to a 2006 AP/AOL-Pew Research Center mobile lifestyle survey, cell phones outnumber PCs by a ratio of 12:1, making the third screen an increasingly desirable platform for relevant promotion and awareness.
"With PointRoll MovieConnect, studios can now fully leverage online advertising as a sales generator," said CEO Chris Saridakis, in a statement. PointRoll said it delivered more than 2 billion rich media ads for the entertainment industry in the first quarter of 2007.