Ad-supported this…ad-supported that…why not have an ad-supported cinema show at the theater?

Consider this: We already have ads before the film starts and some during the intermission (an Indian concept, I suppose!). So, why not have ads during the film too?

I can hear your audible *G-A-S-P*…yes!

But here are some supporting points.

1. I will not opt for the ad-supported version of a film – it should be a choice, like a 3D/non-3D version and there has to be a decent cost difference for the ticket prices. But I can think of many, many target groups that may opt for ad-supported, cheaper tickets. Students, for one…and in India, this could be serious value-for-money.

2. These ads could no doubt interrupt the mood set by the film, but would the price differential be enough to entice people to sit through say, 3 or 4 ads in between? Wondering aloud…!

3. The opportunity for brands will be interesting – this could be treated like the Super Bowl specials. Given the big-screen dimensions, brands could create special ads that take full advantage of the massive screen size and superior acoustics inside a theater. Result? Make the ad a highlight too, that people can excitedly discuss…not just the film! The smarter brands could perhaps use one of the film’s actors/plot/idea too, for an ad and thereby creating an integrated experience that could be remembered long after the film!

It is one thing to advertise all over the inside walls of a mall that houses a theater and promote gazillion things using standees, hand-outs, posters etc. and it is entirely a different idea to advertise in the same screen that is running the film, right in between the film – the key is however the visible, tantalizing cost difference in ticket prices. 3D films, in particular, could perhaps look at subsidizing the ticket prices with an ad-supported version, while brands run 3D ads!! Oh the possibilities…!

PS: There was a feedback on Twitter…that people may walk out for a puff, during the ads, like they do, in Indian films, during songs. The difference is length – songs are about 4-5 minutes, on average…an ad is about 30-45 seconds! Captive audience!

Photo courtesy: Dizzy Atmosphere, via Flickr.

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