Statistics indicate that cinema attendance experiences a surge during the Christmas season, particularly among individuals aged 16 to 34. The cinema offers a serene haven and an uninterrupted setting, making it an optimal platform for financial brands and businesses to guarantee the effectiveness of their advertising messages.
Clare Turner, sales director at Pearl & Dean, is responsible for commercial revenues and the sales strategy across the UK cinema advertising institution.
Here she explores the creative ways that financial firms can tailor their creatives and make it impactful for a Gen Z audience.
With Christmas just around the corner, so too is the yearly increase in cinemagoers who flock to the big screen over the festive period. Data shows people go to the cinema 22 per cent more over Christmas with 16 to 34 year olds responsible for the biggest increase in cinema footfall – a whopping 44 per cent more go in this time period.
This time of year also coincides with financial institutions preparing for the New Year rush, where consumer behaviour shifts too. For example, current account switching levels increased by more than 70 per cent in the first three months of last year as people took advantage of one-off bonuses to change banks.
The festivities put advertising in the spotlight more than usual as consumers discover the latest tale from John Lewis or how Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot is spending the holidays. As cinema attendance grows during December, it’s a prime time to advertise to consumers who might be regularly assessing their finance options to find good deals, especially during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
Huge budgets are spent in the lead up to the holidays, but bold and impactful creatives warrant placement on the big screen beyond the Christmas season. A new year brings fresh opportunities, and financial brands and services have the opportunity to be creative in how they target new audiences, especially younger demographics.
Watching ads in the cinema is a sanctuary as it’s a completely distraction-free environment. It’s a place where brands and businesses can get ultimate cut-through with their advertising because they have something incredibly hard to get hold of these days: people’s unwavering attention. Recent Neuro Insight research shows that cinema ads resonate most strongly with consumers – on average people found them 18 per cent more personally relevant than all other platforms monitored.
Cinema also provides finance brands with new audiences – some of which may have been challenging to reach in other environments. Film content is so diverse, meaning it attracts a variety of people across backgrounds and demographics.
Special partnerships can allow finance businesses to get creative and have a bit more fun with their content too. An example of this is Lloyds Bank, who are current sponsors for Pearl & Dean Premieres, a magazine-style ad-funded programme. Here we see Lloyds showcasing interviews with A-list talent and exclusive content from many red carpet premieres. The mini programmes are aired nationwide ahead of selected screenings, meaning Lloyds can target a plethora of audiences with unique content that will grab their attention.
The rich mix of films being released in 2024, like the biopic Bob Marley: One Love, the highly anticipated musical film Wicked and upcoming Paddington in Peru all provide platforms for a finance brand to powerfully address audiences based on their needs. From young musical fans thinking about how they can plan ahead and make savings and investments, through to those inspired by Paddington’s adventures and looking for ways they can finance a trip of a lifetime, there are a mix of highly attentive audiences that can be reached.
AMEX Platinum is a brand that showcases this well. Recently, it partnered with Everyman Cinemas and made each screening a celebrated event with talent from the film taking part in a pre-show Q&A. This included a heady trail of promotion preceding it with AMEX branding across Everyman’s marketing channels. By partnering with Everyman, AMEX was suddenly everywhere – which elevated the activation beyond the attendees who came to the screenings and saw the partnership in-situ.
Finance brands and services are under increased pressure to stand out from the competition and attract new customers. And cinema is an ideal environment for finance businesses to experiment – the film slate throughout the year attracts a diverse audience meaning there are multiple opportunities to target depending on business objectives and goals.