National CineMedia presented its fourth annual upfront event at the AMC Lincoln Square Theatre in New York on Wednesday and branded itself America’s Movie Network. The company also announced that E! host Maria Menounos has signed an agreement to be the new face of America’s Movie Network as the host of NCM’s FirstLook pre-show program.
Cliff Marks, NCM’s president of sales and marketing said, “Movies drive the social conversation — they are woven into the fabric of our culture. As we looked more closely at the video universe in which we compete and the value we offer to our advertising partners, we asked ourselves, Who are we? What is unique about the NCM value proposition to advertisers? And it became clear that NCM is America’s Movie Network — we’re one of the biggest players in the video advertising marketplace, we have the best content and engagement in the world, we are the top growth network for the Millennial audience, and we’re the number one weekend network in the country. And, of course, everyone loves the movies, so today we plant our flag and claim our rightful place as America’s Movie Network.”
Marks then made the Menounos announcement and said, “With Maria Menounos we have one of America’s premier hosts and entertainment personalities, someone who has done everything from star in movies to interview presidents,” Marks said.
“Movies helped me to learn English growing up,” Menounos said, when she took the stage. “They also were the healthiest escape and source of inspiration and remain so to this day. To be part of America’s greatest modern art form in theaters daily with NCM’s FirstLook is literally a dream come true.”
Menounos, and her partner, producer Keven Undergaro, co-founders of AfterbuzzTV.com, the largest online broadcast network that produces after-shows for favorite TV shows and plays to a weekly world audience of 23 million, will also create content for NCM. She continued, “NCM is the premier platform in this unique and exciting space. I'm thrilled to host and produce content that will reach moviegoers all across America and hope it will enhance the overall movie experience. We are very much looking forward to working with Cliff and his amazing team.”
Their first effort will be Movie Minute segments, offering brands a new way to engage moviegoers across all of the platforms where they view movie content — on-screen, online and on mobile devices.
NCM’s executive vice president and chief revenue officer, Bennett Fogel, introduced NCM’s Cinema Audience Targeting Optimizer system, which has been in development for over a year and will be tested this year with select clients and made available across the network. The company says the CATO system will enable brands to create media schedules based on movie genres that more effectively deliver a target audience for maximum impact and efficiency. In addition, CATO will enable NCM to offer a number of new specialty networks to reach specific multicultural and consumer groups, including an NCM Hispanic network and an NCM High Income network.
Fogel also announced that NCM has engaged Rocket Fuel’s Audience Accelerator to power Cinema Accelerator, a new product that utilizes first-party data including movie ticket purchase data, geo-local mobile audiences, cross-device delivery and audience modeling to accurately reach NCM moviegoers as they extend their movie-going experience. He said it gives NCM Digital the ability to connect the dots from awareness to purchase with proprietary targeting capabilities and optimization to reach in-theater audiences with online and mobile activations.
Fogel said, “We set out a few years back to reposition NCM as an easy alternative to capture high-quality impressions and include them in the premium video planning process. We converted our audience delivery to Nielsen ratings based on the TV universe, changed our pricing model to compete with premium prime and live event programming and offered standard upfront terms and options.”
He continued, “This year, to further enhance and standardize our measurement and ROI metrics, all of our upfront partners will not only receive demographic guarantees directly posted by Nielsen, but will also receive engagement posts conducted by Nielsen Brand Effect.”
“Every post analysis will not only include target audience delivery, but will now also include measurement of brand recall, message recall and likeability to quantify the impact of an ad in NCM’s FirstLook versus TV, and the combination of the two which has proven to provide maximum impact.”
National CineMedia www.ncm.com