Cinema adspend jumps 23% thanks to James Bond's licence to thrill effect

Cinema ad revenues are set to smash expectations by jumping almost 23 per cent in the UK this year.

Daniel Craig: stars as James Bond in Spectre
Daniel Craig: stars as James Bond in Spectre

The surge is thanks to the unexpectedly strong performance of Spectre, the latest James Bond film, and a surge in children going to the movies.

WPP’s Group M, Britain’s biggest media buyer, said in its latest forecast of the ad market: "Bond lifted annual revenue by 11 per cent on its own, and the year has yet to round out with Star Wars."

Fears that kids are shunning cinema in favour of smartphones, tablets and on-demand devices in the home have been allayed as children’s box office is up 50 per cent on the year, boosted by two big films from Disney’s Pixar studio, Inside Out and Home.

This year’s expected 22.8 per cent ad increase means that cinema grew faster in 2015 than even the internet, which is forecast to be up about 15 per cent. However, cinema ads are worth just a fraction of the £8 billion value of online advertising.

Group M’s reported broad reasons behind cinema’s improved performance: "Advertiser demand for cinema has a good supporting cast. TV inflation, no late-booking penalties, lead time [to bring an ad to the big screen] down from analogue weeks to digital days; being able to adapt existing TV ads, which most are.

"The fact cinemas audiences think these ads are different (mostly they are just longer cuts) and immunity from digital curses of viewability, ad-blocking and ‘non-human traffic’."

The media buyer warns cinema ad revenues are likely to be flat in 2016 after such a strong year, although the release of new films in the Batman and Superman franchise and the launch of Finding Dory, the sequel to Finding Nemo, should keep bringing in audiences.

Group M reported: "Cinema should consolidate its gains in 2016. We had put in 5 per cent ad growth before we knew how big Bond was, but growth of any sort would be hard.

"Brand count is up, repeat business is up. Facebook is a notable newcomer, and a useful endorsement of the medium."

Cinema’s 22.8 per cent increase in 2015 compares to a 4.3 per cent rise last year.

Group M’s forecast showed TV has performed very strongly in 2015, rising nearly 8 per cent from 5 per cent a year ago, but radio has slowed, with growth of 4 per cent compared to nearly 11 per cent in 2014.

Outdoor has held steady with a 4 per cent rise, but news and magazine brands have fallen about 7 per cent.

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