Cinema is a catalyst to 'together time' for couples, families, friends and peer groups and hence the experience of bonding over the shared experience of a film rates much more than other entertainment avenues. This 'Together time' is hard to find and harder for a marketer to penetrate. Cinema provides a state of mind that exists in no other medium. The audience gets into the most receptive frame of mind owing to voluntary surrender to the environmentAdvantages of Cinema Advertising
PVR patrons are the kinds that are willing to pay more for a better lifestyle. They seek a totality of experience which is a mix of wholesomeness and flaunt value. As a result, they see the movie as a part of a bigger experience and since they are not rupee-crunchers, they keep coming back to PVR for this wholistic experience.
As is evident from the data above, PVR clearly allows advertisers to target an audience which is predisposed to spending on premium experiences across categories. All date is based on Target Group Index (TGI) study of urban consumption patterns, 2011.
Target Group Index is a global network of single source market research surveys providing valuable and comparable consumer insights from over 60 countries across 5 continents. In India, TGI has been conducted since 2001, and is now considered the Gold standard reference point for information on consumption habits of urban population. Moreover, TGI outlines the media consumption and habits of people. Both the traditional media like TV, Radio, Print etc as well as un-conventional media like internet, outdoor, cinema, mobile phone etc are covered in-depth.
Demographics Coverage – TGI India
Sample: 31000 Geography: Urban India SEC: ABC Age Group: 15 yrs – 55 yrs TGI India provides information on 250 categories covering around 4000 brands. TGI being a single source study, one can establish a direct connect among various touch points of the same individual.
With the establishment of the country's first multiplex cinema in 1997, PVR's well distributed footprints spread across all significant points on the cinema circuit in India and as of now, consists of 569 screens, across 123 cinemas located across 48 cities. PVR entertains over 95 million viewers annually.
Our journey started in 1997 at a time when most people believed that the golden days of the movie exhibition business were over, thanks to home viewing and an indifferent cinema experience. But our plush audis, friendly service and great candy bars created an experience that every customer would want to repeat.
We have since added several feathers to our caps. From the largest multiplex in Mumbai at Mulund to the largest multiplex at Bangalore, we have covered the country like no other player in the business. We have gone beyond to create properties catering to different client profiles such as PVR premiere for the ultra discerning and PVR Talkies for small towns.
A movie at a PVR cinema is not just a movie. It is a wholistic experience that engages all senses. We provide end-to-end viewing experience available from 70mm screens to intimate multiplex to high end Gold Class, IMAX, ECX to 3D. Almost all our cinemas are driven by the world's latest 2K digital projection equipment. Add to it the luxurious, inviting F&B counters offering sumptuous menus to suit all audience profiles. Completing the experience is our pleasant, young, friendly welcoming staff and F&B service on seats ensuring that patrons have an uninterrupted movie viewing pleasure.
Our philosophy in PVR has always been to push the envelope and come up with unique cinematic experiences for our audiences. To give our patrons a truly plush experience the choicest materials are deployed in construction, fittings and styling. Rich, ambient lighting with ideal temperature control backed by the highest quality 2K digital cinema technology & 7.1 dolby surround sound makes the entertainment thoroughly immersive.
PVR is scripting a whole new chapter in the story of cinemas in India & is poised to be a blockbuster.
Our philosophy in PVR has always been to push the envelope and come up with unique cinematic experiences for our audiences. To give our patrons a truly plush experience the choicest materials are deployed in construction, fittings and styling. Rich, ambient lighting with ideal temperature control backed by the highest quality 2K digital cinema technology & 7.1 dolby surround sound makes the entertainment thoroughly immersive.
PVR's brand strategy offers 491 cinema screens across ten well differentiated cinema labels, covering all price points and profiles in the cinema spectrum. It has created 10 different movie-viewing ambiences to suit the tastes and pockets of different audience segments.
PVR Gold Class' overall look and feel is luxurious and intended for an audience segment who desire a great, exclusive experience.
PVR has gone full length and taken the movie watching experience to a totally new level of luxury and formed the wonderful & breathtaking world called Director's Cut, where entertainment meets fully-fledged hospitality.
PVR Premiere is positioned for the audience that desire a premium cinema experience in plush interiors, and cool atmosphere.
Two of Delhi's oldest and popular cinema halls, Plaza and Rivoli now enjoy their new avatars as PVR Plaza and PVR Rivoli respectively.
IMAX is the world's most immersive cinema experience with state of the art projection and sound system.
PVR Cinemas delivers a mainstream cinema experience, featuring Wider seats with maximum leg room for comfort, 4K digital projection, 7.1 channel Dolby Digital sound system, 3D enabled silver screens and last row recliners.
A format that is high on technology. Bear witness to the colossal screen armed with a Dolby ATMOS Surround System with Harmon Kardon Audio, RealD 3D and 4K Digital Projection, which ensures that 100% surround is captured along with unsurpassed picture clarity so you don't miss even the tiniest of details.
PVR Talkies has been developed purely as a vehicle to enable PVR to be experienced by audiences in small towns where ticket pricing is much lower than in the Metros.
Any PVR property with 12 or more cinema screens is branded as a PVR Superplex. It brings together multiple formats and multiple zones created around them under one roof for an unparalleled movie experience.
PVR ICON is all about 'opulence' with magnificent lobby space, chandeliers, classic wall arts, new seating with extra leg room, digital cinema environment with interactive kiosks & large video walls.
Brands are like personalities, equally unique and diversified. And to promote a personality, you need to first understand it and then adapt your communication according to its requisites. This is where the unique E-4 Model offered by PVR befits your brand's requirements. Our clients over the last decade have approached us as a medium, each with their own unique brand situations. We helped them garner the best results as per their expectations with innovative use of media.
However much a brand tries 100% awareness cannot be achieved. More thrust needs to be given on the quality of awareness. What people will remember you for? Your brand awareness can be supplemented by means of on-screen and off-screen activities at PVR. Leading brands have used and are using PVR as a medium throughout the year exposing their message to premium audiences across all cinemas. Many more brands use PVR to give boost to their campaign (seasonal spenders).
Your Brand may be well know, but at all levels of evolution, sometimes a brand needs Sheen & Vitality injected into it, in order that consumers get a chance to refresh their perspective. PVR offers an effective solution to get the latest celebrities to be seen in proximity to your brand in the form of Premieres, Red Carpets, Press Conferences etc.
Even well-established BRANDS sometimes find themselves at cross roads wherein they may be well known and regarded, but there may be a gap in their Appeal Scores due to lack of excitement levels they evoke in their audience's minds. PVR offers a great platform to conduct engagement and excitement levels they evoke in their audience's minds through Made for Cinemas Ad (TVC), See/Touch/Feel your latest products/services, Product & Service Launches including Trial-generation activities.
If your brand or campaign has a core thought, PVR offers myriad opportunities to amplify your thought. Your brand's core thought needs to be curated and presented to the audience in a manner that creates memorable impact. PVR offers a platform to get millions of upmarket consumers to see your brand presented in new context, and allow them to form stronger associations with the core proposition. Relevant associations to drive Brand Fit with specific occasions such as Valentine Day, Film Festival, Oscar Nights, Diwali, Kids Films Festival, Classic Film Festival.
BluO is India's biggest bowling chain, a JV between PVR & Major Cineplex, Thailand. It has re-defined bowling as a popular lifestyle and entertainment sport in the country, similar to what T-20 has done to the sport of cricket in India. An ideal destination to bond, de-stress and rejuvenate, bluO also serves as the perfect host to corporate parties, theme & kitty parties, birthdays & anniversaries.
BluO offers various innovative and dynamic opportunities to brands to interact with distinct genre of patrons. Renowned brands like Pepsi, Carlsberg, United Breweries and ITC have already aligned with bluO as a vibrant advertising medium to engage in.
To understand how your brand can benefit from associating with bluO, download the presentation.
Cinema advertising may have the advantage of getting the audience's focused attention over other media, but it still rakes in total revenues of merely Rs 200 to 300 cr. One player that has contributed significantly towards these figures, and is hopeful of the medium's growth, is PVR Cinemas. Gautam Dutta, COO, PVR Cinemas, spoke to shobhana nair about the concrete steps taken by the brand to register in the minds of key decision makers.
Q] Cinema advertising in India is growing, although brands are yet to realise its full potential. How much has PVR contributed towards its growth?
PVR has a giant share in cinema advertising, which is perhaps more than what the players bring on to the table collectively. There is evidence that PVR is far ahead of the pack and has taken pioneering initiatives to garner this kind of leadership position. Starting from what we sell, where we sell, the concept, the design team internally, and the vast magnitude of work we do with our clients to give them the value on this space is unparallel. 71 million people come to PVR Cinemas and in terms of cinema revenues, we are perhaps bigger than some of the publications. We are also bigger than some of the channels for the kind of advertising revenues that we make.
Q] What is the brand model that has worked for PVR?
The brand model that we work on is called the FERD, which stands for Familiarity, Esteem, Relatability and Differentiation. We believe our medium is uniquely placed to offer all four. We can offer familiarity as we have the strength of 70 million people watching movies at more than 92 cinemas in 37 cities. Brand esteem comes in because it is a place where star cast visits and premieres happen. Basically, this medium can help one amplify any USP of a product or service and give a real time experience. In fact, there isn't any other medium in the country which delivers mass but quality audience, and hence it is a very people medium to be in.
Q] Which sectors rely heavily on cinema advertising?
Huge trends do occur which is very cyclical. Automobiles and Telecom are two very steady sectors which target discerning audiences. Electronics is another sector which advertises regularly, but more than that, sectors like education, FMCG and real estate are some of the new entrants which will emerge strong.
Q] How much does cinema advertising contribute towards the overall revenues for PVR?
12% of revenues come from Cinema Advertising in PVR and we are targeting Rs 148 cr in 2013-14. This first quarter, we have already touched Rs 32 cr, which also includes Cinemax which we acquired last year. In fact, last year, in the first quarter, we were at Rs 19 cr, which means we've seen a steady growth of 67%.
Q] There are still media planners who believe that cinema when converted to cost per thousand is an expensive medium as compared to TV and print. How do you convince them?
We have done a lot of calculation on CPT and there's no doubt about any mass channel giving you more audience. Clients looking for SEC A1, A2, B1, B2, need to look at the numbers. These channels also deliver you a lot of riff-raff, which are SEC C and D. We sell a ticket at a premium, which is eight times more than what a ticket costs at a single screen.
If a consumer is paying me eight times more for the same product you can imagine the profile of that consumer. This person is glued to the screen. His mindset is very relaxed and that mood is very crucial to make a positive impression on a product which ultimately leads to the purchase decision. So keeping all these factors one needs to calculate.
If you are keeping mass as your base, then of course our CPT is more expensive however what we deliver is unparallel impact and a certain class of audience. Even in a place like Latur, we are talking to the most discerning audiences in that area as our tickets are 25% more expensive than any other cinema hall. So if he is willing to pay more, then he will be ready to pay even more for a quality product.
Q] Also, the major concern for planners is audience measurability. How are you tackling that? Is Pay-Per eyeball a probable solution?
We have got HUL and Kotak who have signed on the dotted line for this plan. We are insulating all advertisers on two accounts. Firstly, the fate of a movie becomes irrelevant as we will guarantee the advertiser a certain numbers of audience. This audience may take one day or even hundred days, but will be delivered. And secondly, whenever a product has a certain campaign; media planners seek an 'x' number of eyeballs for that campaign and within that we guarantee them that number. This works brilliantly as we keep a complete log for every ticket sold. So if only four people are in the auditorium we will charge you only for that number.
So unlike earlier times, when an advertiser associated with a movie featuring A-list stars, the entire strategy seems to be changing with more focus on eyeballs. Yes, the recently released The Lunchbox was viewed by a niche audience. And hence, a brand seeking this kind of audience will only opt for this movie but a mass brand would prefer to advertise during Phata Poster Nikla Hero.
Q] It is a long road ahead, but what are the steps you are resorting to increase awareness among the decision makers?
We've tried to provide education about the medium. We did shows in Delhi where we invited close to 300 planners and showcased all the innovative platforms that could be planned around Cinema Advertising. We also did this in Mumbai and called another 350 planners to watch the first show of Lootera. We are trying to educate them and change their perception as they are not even factually correct about the footfalls at PVR. The reality is 1.5 crore footfalls while the perception is just in lakhs.
Q] How do you foresee the growth of the entire Cinema Advertising business?
I feel this medium has still not received its due and within a few years, people will realize its full potential. We may be a small player in the overall advertising pie among all media but in the years to come, this will become a lethal medium due to the impact it can deliver. Creative minds and media planners will not discount the medium and will have to focus on solutions around cinema as a medium, which I believe will be viewed very differently in the future.
Rather than ads for financial products and the odd local apparel brand, patrons at PVR cinemas will now be greeted with commercials for glossy pouts, mysterious eyes and a soft mane when they settle down to watch a movie billed as a blockbuster. The flurry of ads for a variety of beauty products from the house of Hindustan Unilever (HUL) is because PVR has a mission to secure a set number of audience for the FMCG company. The largest multiplex chain has now started executing the bulk deals it had struck with some advertisers at the beginning of the year. The deals marked the start of the pay-per-eyeball scheme that the chain started formulating last year. The multiplex brand is working around the lack of third-party validation of return on media spends in theatre advertising with the help of the entertainment tax that gets logged into the system. While the percentage of e-tax differs from state to state, every ticket entails it and 45 minutes into a screening, the collections for the government get recorded. PVR shares this data to give a measure of the people who were present for a show.
SCALE FOR BULK
Gautam Dutta, COO, PVR Cinemas, says, "Advertisers are divided in three camps: The cinema loyalists, the churners and the ones who have never tried it. The churners are ones who might not have returned following a bad execution and the ones who have never tried it are the ones who harbour traditional concerns about the medium. The last two are the ones to convince with the plan." Among problems, clients have been known to be wary about the absence of a third-party audit, distractions during intermission airing and the ways to activate a campaign in a cinema.
However, the access to an eyeball count will be available to clients who buy in bulk. They can assess the frequency and reach of their ads screened in a PVR theatre. "It is useful when talking to the Unilevers and the P&Gs of the world. Clients that big were used to spending Rs 2-3 crore earlier, when they have the potential to allocate Rs 20 crore to the same media," says Dutta.
Rate cards vs eyeballs
The bulk deals that are now materializing (PVR has signed on Kotak Mahindra Bank apart from HUL) are usually pegged on the number of eyeballs captured. Earlier, rate cards would fix the amount that a client would have to pay without much visibility on the reach and frequency of an ad placement. "Now if someone pays for reaching 10 people, then they need pay for just 10 rather than an arbitrary amount because they can cross-check if those 10 have walked in or not," says Dutta.
While brands can still opt for a timeline-bound campaign play, Dutta says that the bulk deals are about promising 50 million views (or tickets since the data accounts for the tickets sold and e-tax paid on them), for example. But Dutta also adds that it can get granular as well - advertisers can choose specific cities, localities to reach their target audience. "They could select the kind of audience, whether they want to target kids or not etc.," says Dutta. The focus on eyeballs, rather than play for a certain duration, insulates the bulk buyers from the fortunes of a movie at the box office.
Harshavardhan Gangurde, vice-president, marketing, Inox Leisure says that his chain of mulitplexes (the second-largest), which is integrating Fame that it had acquired a few years ago, sees 25 per cent of revenue from ads. Lesser in scale, Inox is organising its ad revenue measurements as well, fine-tuning the ways of measuring cost per contact for potential advertisers. "Digitisation, which is a huge step-up from even a couple of years ago, will play a key role in regularising the cost per person that an advertiser pays," Gangurde says.
Wooing the media frat
Dutta says that the biggest challenge is to convert media planners to loyalists of the medium. "So far, cinema has always been the recipient of residual money, more to the tune of Rs 10-15 lakh," he says. PVR has been holding road-shows for media planners to project the potential.
CEO at Group M (South Asia), CVL Srinivas says, "Cinema has seen an upswing of late in advertising. It has definitely moved on from being an afterthought. The string of Bollywood successes have played a role; we have only to look at the count of movies which have breached the Rs 100-crore mark in the past fewmonths. As media outside television get more regularised, they will get leveraged more. We have seen spends go up in cinema across our client base."
Dutta says, "Under the pay-per-eyeball plan, we could meet the quota in a week, a few months or even a year. However, given the latest movies, we have been able to get 19 million people to view HUL's ads, for example, in a quarter." The success run of Bollywood movies, then, has ensured PVR meets the targets faster.
While cinema may have a lower reach than television in India, it is a far more cost effective and high impact medium for advertisers, according to a report by Group M. According to the report titled This Year, Next Year: India Media Forecasts, the strong growth of cinema in India in the last five years has implications not just for film producers, distributors, audiences and cinema hall owners, but also for advertisers reaching out to film-going audiences as well. The improved production quality and the multiplex ambience have also been instrumental in pulling audiences back to the theatre.
As per the study, the increased advertiser acceptance of the medium has been cited for three factors:
Cinema advertising is finding easier acceptance in the media plan, for many brand categories who see cinema as an extension of their television communication.
As per the report, brand categories are attracted to the multiplex spaces for the quality of the TG and the controlled environment in these spaces. Cinema advertising is a dynamic medium offering advertisers the opportunity to reach their target consumers in a distraction-free environment.
Advertising at movie theatres may be the fifth or sixth preference for a media planner, and the market size still a fraction of the total advertising pie. But the market is growing at 35-40%. Shobhana Nair decodes the numbers behind in-cinema advertising, and what it means for advertisers and cinema owners Picture this: Sunday evening, you're at a multiplex to catch that Bollywood multi-starrer you've long waited for. Phone's muted, pop-corn is in place, the lights dim. Suddenly, you almost jump out of your seat as there appears a Censor Board certificate with the title of 'Lagaan' or 'Rangeela' which released over a decade ago. The next instant, you see the words 'Shock laga kya?' followed by the Havells logo. Any multiplex regular worth his pop-corn would agree that these films-prior-to-the-actual-films have both improved and increased in the past decade. And though not all of them would manage to induce chuckles among the stands as the above campaign (2010, during the releases of De Dana Dan and Peepli Live) did, truth is that this industry (yes, it deserves to be called one) is growing with eyebrow-raising pace. That said, in-theatre advertising (not to be confused with 'infilm') is as old as the Bachchans and Dilip Kumars themselves. From projector 'slides' of Lux soap to the perennially running 'Vicco Turmeric, nahin cosmetic' jingle (as rare as single screen theatres now), the trend became a norm and is now a medium by itself.
Raking up the numbers
Let's get down to stats straightaway. Cinema advertising is just 0.5% of the total advertising pie, but this still meant a revenue close to Rs 210 crore in 2012 (according to Magna Global). It is the reach and impact of this medium that's making us sit up and chart its growth. S Venkatesh, Sr EVP – Director, Intelligence Practice of Magna Global explains, "Cinema advertising has grown at a CAGR of 11% in the last five years. It has seen its share of low points though. In 2009, while the stalemate between theatre-owners and producers was one of the reasons, IPL and the swine flu scare kept the audiences away. In 2012, while most advertisers maintained their budgets, government spending on cause and consumer awareness went up significantly, curbing the de-growth." Anand Vishal, Sr VP - Operations & Sales, Fun Cinemas, states, "The total advertising pie may sound less, but it's an important chunk for the multiplex owners. On a ticket worth Rs 100, cinema owners don't pocket the entire amount. It gets divided among different stakeholders. But when it comes to ad revenue, we bag the entire amount and hence it stands at about 50-60% of the total multiplex bottomline."
Needless to mention, we're talking about the world's largest film industry in terms of movies churned out every week, and footfalls to theatres are assets waiting to be captured by brands. Siddharth Bhardwaj, CMO & National Sales Head – Corporate at UFO Digital Cinema feels, "Entertainment is the most aspirational space for any advertiser to be in. The brand wants to be where the viewer is in a positive frame of mind. This year, we have already doubled the number of advertisers through cinema advertising." To spell out what he refers to, UFO earned an approximate Rs 35 crore during the last financial year and it's now targeting around Rs 75-80 crore in 2012-2013. The confidence comes from the fact that from 200-odd clients last year, it has fetched close to 350 of them this year. And how? Well, we see a direct link between that and UFO's exclusive tie-ups with 3,000 screens in India. Which media planning agency would find it tough to identify key markets this way? The other leading cinema advertising medium – Qube Cinema Network (QCN) by Real Image Media Technologies Pvt. Ltd. has a network of 1,700 screens across the country with a strong presence in the South and it claims to have a reach akin to a General Entertainment Channel (GEC). In fact in Tamil Nadu, QCN is second only to Sun TV in terms of effective reach in the state. MS Rajagopalan, President of QCN, believes that cinema advertising in India has the potential to cross the Rs 1,000 crore mark. "People have always considered cinema in a tactical way for big occasions such as Diwali, Eid or the A-list release. With this attitude, the industry will remain small, at Rs 200-250 crore. Our mission for it - to make it larger – is strong. Of course, cinema cannot replace TV, but can definitely stand alongside it. Research clearly establishes TV plus cinema works better than TV alone," he says, adding, "there's a media multiplier effect that TV and cinema bring in." In order to provide metrics like TV does, QCN took the initiative and appointed The Nielsen Company to conduct a survey based on the house-to-house IRS pattern. This analysis in Tamil Nadu shows that, even using a conservative impact ratio of 1:3 for one exposure on cinema over one on TV, QCN can generate effective reach that could rank it amongst leading TV channels.
Gautam Dutta, COO – PVR says, "Over the last seven years, we have had double digit growth because everyone is looking at this medium carefully. We get the most discerning audience, willing to pay extra. For our clients, we do regular researches to know about this customer. How many times do they watch cinema, what kind of cinema do they watch, what pricing works more? All this and more is researched and shared with the clients for them to plan better."
AKASH CHAWLA, Head of Marketing, National Channels, Zee "We launched Dance India Dance 3 during the festive season along with one of the major blockbusters of that year, Don 2. Keeping in mind the high footfalls in theatres and markets during this time, we thought we should present something to surprise people and at the same time make them recall their favourite dance show." KAPIL SHARMA, VP Marketing, 9X Media "9XM plays the latest hit Bollywood music, so the audience at cinema halls is a good fit for us to reach out to Bollywood movie lovers. Rather than using traditional on-screen ads, we've chosen to opt for the mandatory slides at Cinemax & Plaza Theatre." CINEMA IS THE CHOICE! Ruosh, a footwear brand for men based out of Bangalore, used cinema as an effective medium to target its audience. The brand made commercials only for cinema viewers with lines like 'Sadly, we make shoes only for men, who probably can't wait for the movie to start.' Mohini Binepal, Business Head Retail, Ruosh says, "In the last three months, we have advertised during 10 English movies, 11 Hindi movies and four regional language movies. We advertise in genres ranging from comedy to pot-boilers to action to drama. In fact, we are thinking of tying up with movie theatres at least for six months, if not annually, to get efficiency and better costs. A major percentage of our consumers indicate that they came to know about us through theatre, which gives us the confidence."
What has been the most interesting sales promotion you have engineered so far?
At PVR Cinemas, we routinely explore ways to enhance the viewer's cinema viewing experience. One promotional scheme that stands out is the one we are currently running in conjunction with Kotak Mahindra Bank, the buy-one-get-one-free-ticket offer on Saturdays. Any consumer who books tickets using a Kotak credit or debit card or even a net banking account, will get a ticket free for every ticket booked as the name suggests. What stands out is the fact that the offer runs on Saturdays, possibly the most convenient day for movie viewing. Many other players have run similar offers in the past or do so even now. But they are all restricted to weekdays.
Who did you primarily target with it - new or existing customers or both? There was no particular distinction drawn in terms of targeting new customers over existing ones or vice-versa. The idea was to build loyalty for PVR Cinemas and increase consumer stickiness. We have, however, defined the profile of the customer as targeted by us - we call them the cash-rich time-poor audience. This profile when cross mapped with that of Kotak's customer base is a perfect match, making this promotion a perfect fit for both partners. That said, such schemes do act as a magnet for attracting new customers for us as well as our our partners. It is easy to imagine a regular movie going person feeling the pinch when she is unable to avail of the offer because she doesn't have a Kotak card in her wallet.
How did you go about generating buzz for the promotion?
Getting the word out about the scheme was not much of a challenge due to a large base of registered customers with PVR Cinemas as well as with Kotak. Our partner took care of the bulk of the promotional strategy, sending out emailers to card users via the billing statements sent out monthly and even putting up posters at the automated teller machines. On our part, we put out regular insertions in metros in leading general interest newspapers and entertainment supplements twice a week. Also, social media and our portal were used extensively to spread the word.
What was in it for your partner?
It worked well with Kotak Mahindra Bank. It led to an increase in the usage of Kotak cards. A typical Kotak customer is one with a couple of cards in her wallet today. By giving such enticing offers, she gives preference to the Kotak credit or debit card. With time, this comfort gets translated into a habit of using the card.
What were the challenges?
There haven't been many challenges since this is a scheme, which in its basic structure has been used quite extensively by multiplexes as well as banking partners. Plus the scheme was structured such that it did not conflict with even our co-branded card with Kotak. The card anyway works more on a point system in the benefits it offers. There were no huddles in executing this scheme.
What was its direct and measurable impact on sales and the brand?
It is difficult to calculate the 'measurable' impact of the scheme. Consider this, last month, in June, close to 71 lakh people watched movies across PVR Cinemas. It is difficult to say how many of these came in because of the scheme. The measurable impact of the scheme will come in the long-term for our partner, who will see spends increase on the cards and customer activity pick up.
Is there a chance you will continue with the offer?
We take stock of all our promotions every four-five months. If the offer works well, it can be extended. This particular scheme has been running for around 12 weeks now (about three months). From the looks of it though, we won't be surprised if it continues longer.
Don't sales promotions incur high long-term costs for the company?
The economics work differently for different sales promotions. With this one, PVR Cinemas is not losing out on any revenues due to the nature of the scheme. The way it works, Kotak pays us for the 'free' tickets. And for the bulk purchase, we offer them a small discount anyway.
FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH
KOTAK SUPER SATURDAYS BY PVR
To build loyalty for PVR Cinemas and increase customer stickiness. Attracting new customers for us as well as our partners
Cash-rich, time-poor audiences; Kotak Bank credit card and debit card holders. Also, those customers who have an account with Kotak Mahindra Bank and use internet banking for online transactions
Every customer who books tickets using a Kotak credit or debit card or even netbanking account gets a ticket free for every ticket booked. Many other players have run similar offers in the past but they are all restricted to weekdays
A significant increase in the usage of Kotak cards. A typical Kotak customer has multiple cards. This offer pushed her to use Kotak card over others
Advertisers are trying out innovation and direct messages to market their wares in theatres.
The buzz in cinema circles - apart from Kick getting into the Rs. 200 crore club and the release of Singham Returns - was the recent takeover of Satyam Cineplexes by Inox Leisure for Rs. 182 crore. With this acquisition, the number of screens for Inox went up by 38 to 358, placing it behind leader PVR Cinemas, which has 444 screens across India. Together, the two control more than 40 per cent of the multiplex screens in the country. Big Cinemas has 280 screens, Cinepolis 84 screens and Fun Cinemas, 82 screens. Today there are over 1,500 multiplex screens while five years ago this number was around 250. More screens and more movies make for more advertising space for what is called in-cinema advertising. As footfalls grew, film releases gathered momentum, distribution improved and cinema became digitised, in-cinema advertising aroused the interest of a number of national advertisers. The genre grew at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20 per cent in the last five years. According to a KPMG report, in-cinema advertising is varyingly between Rs. 400 to Rs. 600 crore. Consolidation is taking place in the multiplex business. Innovation pays
Now, over a century old, the Indian film industry is worth Rs. 13,000 crore. Nearly 30 films across 10 different languages are released every week. Experts point out that an estimated 3.5 billion tickets are sold annually and an average Indian visits the theatre thrice every year. It has also built up a great eco-system for brands to interact with audiences. In-cinema advertising refers to on-screen and off-screen branding that consumers see in theatres. "Many mainstream brands today," points out Harshavardhan Gangurde, vice president, marketing, Inox Leisure, "are using in-cinema advertising and have upped spends after realising the impact." In the on-screen space, a brand can run the traditional 30-, 45- or 60 second promos or 10-second static slides giving information. The interactive use of on-screen space has clicked too. Nokia designed a short film in November last year for the Lumia. In it, the protagonist, who is trapped in a maze, calls a person from the audience to help him out. The activation-cum-on-screen film ends with the protagonist coming out in person and gifting the viewer a Nokia Lumia. In the off-screen space, there is a mind-boggling variety of options ranging from seats, audi name(or door), lobby, wall, floor, box office, security check point, popcorn counter, lift, kiosk, product display, staircase, washroom, ticket jackets, interactive zones or kiosks, poster box and sampling. Piramal Healthcare partnered with Big Cinemas across 100 screens and placed the I-Sure (an ovulation test kit) communication in women's washrooms. Sachin Rajpal, general manager, marketing, consumer products, Piramal Enterprises, says, "The dialogue between the brand and the consumer happened very well."
No remote button
Gautam Dutta, COO, PVR Cinemas, says, "Cinema delivers unparalleled impact as brands play with the senses of the consumer." A brand manager is upset if the consumer switches channels, closes a browser or chooses the YouTube ad skip button but he is happy at a theatre because it does not allow the consumer this luxury. "Brands get a captive audience glued to the screens," says Devang Sampat, business head, strategic initiatives, Cinepolis. Kapil Sharma, vice president, marketing, 9X Media (an advertiser in this space), however, argues that the attention wavers because of the commotion caused by people coming and going. Brands, however, get to know who they are interacting with and that the chances of spillover are less. Ronita Mitra, senior vice president, brand communication, insights and online, Vodafone India, says. "Cinema gives you a unique audience in every show and we can advertise in select geographies with different propositions." In 2012-13, for instance, 9XM ran campaigns in 100 Cinemax screens (now PVR) in the Hindi-speaking markets to promote its Bade Chhote characters. Says Sharma, "Since we play Bollywood music, theatres were the perfect destination." The medium allows even the small retailer to advertise and play longer ads that could be prohibitively expensive on TV. The effect, however, may not be the same. "It is not a frequency building medium. The cinema screen acts as an ancillary to any large TVC," adds Gangurde of Inox. Theatres are great for sampling. Samsung, for instance, placed small fridges in the aisle next to the seats in PVR's Gold Class filled with eatables and encouraged viewers to consume the products and judge the efficacy of the fridge. The joy of growing There are many reason why in-cinema advertising was not explored much in the past. Single screen theatres used print rolls that were prone to damage, expensive to produce and had to be distributed individually to each theatre. These theatres were not designed for off-screen branding and mostly reported incorrect footfall numbers. Piracy also lead to several single screens shutting down. All that has changed. "The emergence of multiplexes and their rapid expansion to tier I and II cities is a big reason why this change has begun," says Ajay Mehta, managing director, Interactive Television, part of WPP. In 2013, growth came from tier II and III cities. PVR added 60 screens, Inox 21 and Satyam Cineplex (now Inox) 12 that year. In 2013, Interactive Television also launched Cinema Auditing and Monitoring (CAM) Report, a proprietary tool to ensure transparency in the audit of Cinema advertising. It is the only third party monitoring system available in the country for Cinema advertising. The monitoring is carried out in top 8 cities covering 200 screens which contribute approximately 60 per cent of the cinema ADEX in a given week. Multiplexes have better ambience and good picture quality and drew SEC A, AB, A+ audiences back to the theatres. A KPMG report points out that the occupancy levels for major multiplexes rose from 23-27 per cent in 2011 to 30 per cent in 2013. PVR claims to get more than 72 million viewers annually, while Big Cinemas gets 40 million. According to the report, average ticket prices went up from Rs. 150-160 in 2011 to Rs. 168-175 in 2013 for leading multiplex chains. Other developments have changed the movie-going experience. Digitisation has improved film quality. Digital prints cost less than analogue and are easy to distribute. Today, viewers in big and small cities get to see the show on the day of release. Kick, for example, was released simultaneously in 4,000 screens. Producers push films on as many screens on Day One but their shelf life is low. Multiplexes monitor footfalls and provide brands with a log of the ad (when, where and how many times it played) thereby bringing transparency. Most multiplexes have a capacity of 200-500, giving them the flexibility to run small ticket films, giving more options to the advertisers.
Them and us
When it comes to in-cinema advertising, are there watertight compartments? Do regional brands advertise with big-ticket Hindi or English films? Will a national brand advertise in a regional film? "We measure capacity on demand and assign the number of shows. A regional brand would not mind advertising with any other language movie if it can benefit," says Dutta of PVR. Swaroop Reddy, managing director of the Chennai-based Sathyam Cinemas (no connection with the Delhi-based Satyam chain) differs. He says that the fact that a movie is regional, Bollywood or English does affect advertisers' decisions. Gangurde of Inox points out that most brands tend to go for larger Hindi releases with assured eyeballs. Sampat of Cinepolis adds that advertising depends on the resources available, not whether the movie is regional, Bollywood or Hollywood. "If the brand is allocating budgets to its regional offices then advertising with regional and small budget movies is more. But if it is only from the central pool then it is mostly the national campaigns with big ticket films," he explains.
Screen vs screen
More than 70 per cent of the 13,000 cinema screens in India are single, which are less monetised from an advertising perspective. The rest are multiplexes. On the revenue front, the latter gets 70 per cent of its income from ticket sales, 20 per cent food and beverages (F&B) and 10 per cent from ads. Both F&B and in-cinema advertising make multiplexes profitable. With the consolidation in the multiplex business, brands and agencies now have to deal with fewer people. Inox-Satyam is the latest in a line of acquisitions - PVR acquired Cinemax in 2012 and Inox Leisure acquired Fame Cinemas in 2010. Many brands opt for cinema deals based on cost per thousand (CPT). According to Sharma of 9X Media, there will be low and high days because weekdays in north India see thin attendance. On the other hand, footfalls are heavy through the week in the South, especially Tamil Nadu. Surprisingly, brands prefer to advertise more in western Indian theatres. To attract crowds on weekdays, tickets are priced low and marketing initiatives used in collaboration with brands such as Vodafone, Vivel, Kotak, and Freecharge.in. These are win-win situations for all parties. Cinema houses co-invest with brands to make them grow. It works quite well.
PVR's ad revenue for last three fiscal years rose from Rs. 85 crore to Rs. 140 crore between 2011-12 and 2013-14. Big Cinemas' revenue went up from Rs. 18 crore to Rs. 44 crore, while Inox Leisure saw revenues move from Rs. 33 crore to Rs. 50 crore in the same period. Many single screens are trying to transform themselves or converting to multiplexes. Companies like UFO Moviez (which holds rights for 3,500 single screens) provide digitization solutions. The audience is larger (SEC B and C) and it is cheaper to advertise here. Government ads that attempt to educate or spread awareness go for single screens. However, Gurudutt Monas, senior manager, corporate ad sales, UFO Moviez, says, "Corporates are also taking this route and look to full year deals."
Recall and returns
With increasing disposable incomes, families don't mind spending at multiplexes. On an average, a family of four in big cities spends at least Rs. 1,500 in theatres during the weekends. Every brand is after this audience. The best part about in-cinema advertising is that the recall is higher compared to other media. "Cinema is a much better place to advertise as people are more receptive than in their offices or homes," says Dutta of PVR. Measuring the return on investment (ROI) is, however, difficult. According to Karthi Marshan, EVP and head group marketing, Kotak Mahindra Bank, cinema amplifies brand campaigns running on TV so there is no direct ROI for it. Brands can measure kiosk sales and leads, but it's difficult to put a number to the impact from static branding. The cost per contact may be high but people like Cherian Peter, CMO, The Muthoot Group, feel that it is not a problem. "Everything cannot be looked from an ROI perspective because there are certain things we do for brand building purpose, not for ROI," he says. Another problem is the limited reach of the medium. Brands have to run multicity and multiweek campaigns since they want more accuracy and transparency. The density of screens in India is low. There are just eight screens per million people compared to 117 per million in the US. Metros are saturated and next set of investment is coming in the non-metro cities. Brands, unfortunately, are not as bullish about these markets as the theatres would like them to be.
Onscreen ads are still the most preferred among brands. A multiplex plays an average of 23 ads (30 seconds each) or 12-15 minutes of advertising. The rate differs from chain to chain and could range from Rs. 7,000-20,000 for a 30-second ad. When it comes to off-screen models, poster branding costs between Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 30,000 a month per poster box while a standee costs around Rs. 18,000-25,000. Brands are now beginning to opt for quarterly, semi-annual and annual deals. A niche or an upmarket product goes for screens attracting the SEC A+ audience, while a mass product goes for SEC A, AB screens. Says Shirish Srivastava, senior vice president - marketing & sales at Reliance MediaWorks, ''Today, 50 per cent of brands opt for the annual deals.'' It insulates the brand from box-office failures. Annual deals give companies the chance to use the space to advertise different products at different points of time. Media agencies help theatres get 40 per cent of the deals struck, while the exhibitors get the rest themselves. The innovations are executed by the outdoor agencies. Theatres have adopted the 'pay per eyeball' model where brand pays for the number of people visiting the theatre in that period. For now, only premium brands get this offer. "Kotak," says Karthi Marshan, EVP and group head marketing, "assesses its investments based on the eyeballs reached and not the number of ads aired."
A note from the Editor, Sreekant Khandekar
The movie theatre makes one of the most fascinating Indian business comebacks of all time. For those of you who are old enough to remember, by the early 1990s the movie hall was a place of horrors. Cavernous and ill-maintained, it was shady in every sense. And it stank. Recently introduced to the delights of satellite television, the Indian family had stopped visiting the local cinema hall. In many places, the exhibitor was reduced to running semi-porn films to fill the low-end seats. I lived in the residential area of Saket, New Delhi in the mid-1990s. That's where, in 1997, PVR created India's first multiplex just a few hundred yards from my home. All of us who visited PVR Saket were flabbergasted. This was beyond anything we could have ever imagined. Where the old theatre treated customers as if they were bootleggers, here it was like entering a five-star. The place had marble floors, was brightly lit, and smelled nice. Compared to the old movie theatre, this was as alien as a spaceship. For younger readers, brought up on multiplexes, it will be hard to comprehend the impact at the time. They will think I am going over the top. But then, the memory of the dirty old theatre does not fill their nose, does it? When a new business emerges, how it performs depends on a host of factors. Its course is also dictated by the leading players in the game. They determine the rules of the game and whether the industry will take the high road or the low one. In that sense, PVR has proved to be a good role model. The first to enter the business, it has kept its leadership over 17 years – a remarkable achievement, considering the degree of competition. The founder, Ajay Bijli, is known for being obsessed with his brand – and it shows. PVR has set high standards, forcing the competition to emulate them. It is publicly listed and its reputation in the investment community is clean. As the multiplex business expands into smaller towns, it will need to raise serious money, and a good reputation will be a big help
The largest media agency network forecasts 20% growth for cinema ads in 2015, second only to digital at 37%.
That digital as an advertising medium has been growing consistently in the last few years is a trend that has been well-documented by a number of studies that track ad spends in the country. However, what is striking about the latest AdEx Report released by the country's largest media agency network, GroupM, is the growth of cinema advertising in India. GroupM forecasts a rate of growth of 20 per cent for cinema advertising in 2015, second only to digital advertising, which comes at 37 per cent.
While the growth last year of cinema advertising was 25 per cent, according to GroupM estimates, thanks to elections, officials at the media agency network say a comparable number would be the growth seen the previous year (2013), when it (cinema advertising) was 12 per cent. Officials say this is the broad range of growth of cinema advertising in the country in the last few years. Though the base of cinema advertising in the country is small - only 0.83 per cent of estimated total advertising of Rs 48,976 crore for 2015 - GroupM says that it does have the scope to grow in the coming years, if high double-digit grow rates remain.
"The cinema numbers this year are an eye-opener," says CVL Srinivas, chief executive officer, GroupM, South Asia. "The consolidation of the multiplex business in the last few years makes it an exciting proposition for advertisers. Footfalls have been growing inside theatres and multiplexes in particular and when there are eyeballs for a medium, advertisers are automatically drawn to it," he says.
A big contributor to footfalls in theatres has been the digitisation of single screens as well as tier-II and III multiplex screens in the last few years. Digitisation, say experts, has given exhibitors the flexibility in selecting movies, and especially last year, when mainline Bollywood films failed to deliver, regional films have been able to save the day for distribution and exhibition companies. Thanks to this, cinema halls have been able to maintain footfalls, making in-cinema advertising a lucrative option for brands, notably, regional brands.
"Increasingly, we find that there are a number of local and regional companies across categories that want to advertise and build their brands. It is no longer a prerogative of large companies alone. Like their larger counterparts, smaller players look at cinema as an avenue to advertise their products," says Prashanth Kumar, Mindshare's South Asia CEO-designate, who heads GroupM's Central Trading Unit.
For those who cannot afford expensive television spots, cinema ad rates are a fraction of what TV channels charge, driving regional brands to embrace advertising in theatres even more. There are also no constraints on time like in TV, where ten-seconders typically rule. Ads in cinemas are anywhere between 30 to 60 seconds, giving advertisers more room to drive home their communication message. Not to mention that the mechanism to track cinema advertising in the country has grown over the years. GroupM launched a measurement system called Cinema Audit and Monitoring (CAM) in 2013. Global major Rentrack has hopped onto the bandwagon now, though it measures box office collections to begin with. Globally, Rentrack monitors cinema advertising besides measuring box office collections.
How other media stack up
Amongst mainline media, television advertising retains a healthy 16 per cent growth rate this year (15 per cent last year), GroupM says, while print advertising is likely to see a growth rate of 5 per cent (7 per cent last year). Both TV and print remain the largest and second-largest contributors to total advertising at 46 per cent (Rs 22,446 crore) and 34 per cent (Rs 16,872 crore), respectively. From 1.2 per cent a decade ago, digital advertising today is pegged at 9.5 per cent of total advertising. It is forecast to be Rs 4,661 crore in size this year. Interestingly, the growth of digital advertising co-incides with the drop in print advertising in the last decade. In 2005, print advertising was 53 per cent of total advertising, making it the largest advertising medium in India.
TV advertising, on the other hand, was 37 per cent, putting it in second place. While the tables have turned in the last decade, the trend going forward is the further growth of digital. According to industry estimates, digital advertising is expected to cross the 20-per-cent-mark by 2020.
Cinema works as one of the best mediums to talk to a captive audience. Most of the PVR cinemas are located near Rado Stores across the country. It therefore presents us with a unique and effective ability to drive traffic to the store
Piyush, Marketing Manager, India, Swatch Group India
We have been associated with PVR for the past few years for the promotions of the vehicles as a part of Brand promotion/BTL activities. These promotions helped us to create product differentiation, create brand awareness and increases our sales
S. Manthralaya Nivasan, AGM-Activation, TVS Motor Co
Cinema offers an excellent non-avoidable medium with high quality picture and sound and is most relevant. PVR offers a unique platform to reach out to high profile, premium quality audience with high spending powers
Nitin Verliani, National Head-Trade Marketing, Reliance Broadcast Network
Cinema works as a very focused media vehicle for various brands and for a luxury car brand like Mercedes-Benz, PVR acts as a perfect foil with regards to target audience demographics and psychographics.
Rishi Choudhary, AVP – Marketing & Training, Silver Arrow Automobiles
We believe being associated with PVR helps in reaching the right target audience in their most receptive frame of mind. Our association till date with PVR has been very fruitful and in future too we would be using this medium more frequently for our brand's visibility
Manish Kakkar, AGM-Marketing, Greenply
Cinemas supplements the reach and works as an additional touch point for many TG – like Yout. We had an exclusive deal with Cinemax as it mapped into pretty well to one of my brand's market & TG
Rama Paul, Head Media Planning & Investment, Dabar
PVR offers a premium setting with a good ambience. PVR seems to attract the upper end of the audience spectrum but at a price. PVR has an image and makes the cinema goer proud of its association. On the media differentiator, PVR offers a complete 360 solution with an ease of implementation
Bashab Sarkar, Senior Vice President, Emami Limited
JBL's first-ever India centric campaign featuring music maestro A R Rahman was a huge success. Cinema being an integral part of our media plan brought to life the panoramic visuals and helped us drive this communication through.
Sameer Shah, Director-Marketing, Harman International India
Cinema has become a key component of any destination marketing plan as you have an almost captive audience in a relaxed state of mind. We have managed to catch optimum eyeballs with our PVR promotions
Romit Theophilus, Director-Sales & Marketing, German National Tourist Office, India
PVR & Cinemax have been a great external support to create footfalls for Vibes. They truly leap ahead of competition by fast forwarding its innovation capability
Aarti Kohli, VP-Weight Mgt, Vibes Healthcare
Cinema and more specifically PVR has become critical to catch the consuming class in a captive medium. PVR has delivered in the past on our requirement and we have done some interesting work together
Priyadarshi Debasrit, Business Director, Zenith Optimedia
It has been a wonderful association with PVR, that lends us the perfect environment, right target audience and great support to utilize them as a medium of brand communication and advertising. PVR today provides our brands a great platform for weekend retailing
Jeslin Pankai, Group Head-Marketing, Rose Group of Cos
On-screen advertising comprises of digital commercials and static slides. Commercials are played for a minimum of three times a day per audi with the main movie either during the beginning or interval. Static slides (with or without voice over) are played inside the audi in all the shows for a duration of 10 sec per slide.
Commercials need to be provided in digibeta format:
Static Slides need to be provided in 15cm (W) x 10cm (H) in 300 dpi resolution.
A black border of 5mm needs to be kept around the creative