Pearl & Dean screened the UK’s first digital cinema commercials
last week, and claimed the format will revolutionise the buying of
big-screen advertising space.
The COI, Cadbury, Guinness and Nike all took part in the one-off trial
The ads were shown before a screening of The Perfect Storm in the Warner
West End Village in London and Warner Village StarCity in Birmingham,
using the latest digital light processing projection technology.
Although the commercials look no different to the average cinema-goer,
Pearl & Dean is promising that the speed at which space can be bought
and the ease of targeting will be vastly improved.
Instead of manually cutting and slicing the ad into reels of film to be
driven across the country - a lengthy and costly process for agencies -
ads can be sent electronically via ISDN to individual cinemas.
Sarah Harrison, who is in charge of cinema planning and buying for the
COI at Universal McCann, said: ’The digital system will be a lot more
flexible. We’ll be able to guarantee a position in a reel and book space
maybe even on the day rather than two weeks ahead. This will encourage
new advertisers - newspapers, for example, could promote their weekend
’Targeting will also improve. A music company could buy space only on
screenings of, say, High Fidelity, which is full of 80s music.’ She
added, however: ’I expect we’ll be charged a premium for digital.’
With each digital projector costing pounds 100,000, buyers of cinema
advertising will have to wait between three and five years before the
bulk of the UK’s cinemas are equipped to screen the commercials. At the
moment there are only four digital projectors in the country.