In-Scope: Val Morgan 2018 Upfronts

“All screens are not created equal and frankly neither are impressions”

Val Morgan’s overall tactic for the 2018 upfronts was to position cinema as a brand safe environment. Given this has been a hot topic of conversation in the market this year around the digital space, they were right on trend in addressing this and highlighting cinema as a medium that can deliver a client’s message in a safe, highly engaged setting, something that their recently released research piece “The Halo Effect” by Kantar Millward Brown, supported.

With wall-to-wall screens and surround sound in a darkly lit environment, cinema offers an immersive and high sensory experience. Therefore, advertising content is processed more consciously, yielding results such as 95% retention rate at a frequency of 1.5 compared to display advertising which yields a 75% weekly retention rate at a frequency of 10.

Whilst we are becoming a society that is increasingly viewing content on small devices and personalised screens, more traditional mediums such as TV and cinema are now reminding us how powerful big screens are. ThinkTV pointed out their ReThink TV conference last month, as did Val Morgan at their Upfronts, that “the big screen is difficult to ignore therefore size really does matter”. Competing in an evolving and increasingly digital landscape, Val Morgan wanted to remind us how they fit into the media environment, their point of difference, and what they have to offer.

Moving forward, they will be rolling out 250 news screens across Australia over the next 3 years. With new screens and enhancements to existing cinemas, Val Morgan are on a mission to create an environment which fosters deeper experiences for consumers such as VJunior, Australia’s first cinema for kids.  Exclusive to Village Cinemas in Melbourne, VJunior features new release family films with modified volume and lighting levels plus an intermission for selected sessions, beanbag or reclined lounge seats and a slide and an interactive play area where children can play for 30 minutes prior to the film starting. This environment allows for advertisers to be more targeted than ever before and provide a unique experience for selected audiences. They are also bringing back old favourites such as Chicks at the Flicks and Moonlight Cinema, giving more opportunities to our clients

To make access easier to agencies in 2018 Val Morgan will be introducing the launch of their automated buying system which will allow for seamless transactions and will allow speed to screen, with clients able to go live within 24 hours onto the national network. This has been a barrier for some clients in the past, with Val Morgan developing their back end to address this. No date has been set as of yet however we hope that the automation will not only allow for speed but will also allow for more robust and real-time post analysis of a campaign.

Val Morgan also announced that they will be coming to market next year with a data management platform (DMP). As media planning and buying continues to change with data now being a key component of initial idea, activation and channel planning, Val Morgan’s intention is to create a rich layer of audience understanding to bring cinema closer into the consideration circle for people buying premium video. Data providing gender, age, where they live, where they shop and broader habits on their preferences will be available in the near future, with a date yet to be set.

Quite frankly irrespective of all these great insights and strategies for 2018, what Val Morgan need are bums on seats in the cinemas, with content in the pipeline really important to them. With great content and blockbuster films driving their audience, the more people that go to the cinema, the more eyeballs available for our clients. The good news is that 2018 is set to deliver an array of promising films targeting a range of cinema goers.

Before outlining the top picks for 2018 there are some notable films that are still yet to be released in 2017 which are expected to generate huge audiences and will lead to a predicted 3% increase on last year’s record audiences.

With over 550 movies releasing next year, 2018 stands to show some of the best content we’ve seen on screens yet. Big hitting key titles have been grouped into 4 categories with Superheros and Villians continuing to make up a large part of audiences and box office hits.

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