Announcing new deals with Twitter and Foursquare, NCM Media held its second annual upfront presentation last month at New York City’s AMC Loews Lincoln Square movie theater. According to NCM, it is America’s No. 1 weekend network, consistently ranking higher in reach than any other network on Fridays and Saturdays. As the largest cinema network in the U.S., NCM delivers national reach and scale that is comparable to – and often bigger than – the biggest TV networks.
In fact, NCM’s reach has also grown year-over-year to make it a top 10 network, ranking on average as the No. 8 network during key sweeps periods (up from No. 11).
The deals with Twitter and Foursquare that will allow advertisers to be a part of the social conversation surrounding movies
Movies have been a favorite topic of conversation for over a century, so it should come as no surprise that there were hundreds of millions of tweets about movies in the past year alone. NCM is developing a weekly multi-platform series highlighting the latest trending movie topics, produced by NCM and powered by Twitter and its real-time data. This dynamic weekly series will be featured on-screen and on Twitter, giving movie audiences a chance to continue the conversation and influence upcoming episodes before and after the movies. Over the next few weeks, NCM and Twitter will be taking this concept to market to find a presenting sponsor.
Foursquare has more than 3.5 billion checks-ins since their founding, with movies being one of the most popular categories. NCM is working with Foursquare to offer people local content and offers that are relevant to their movie-going experience. The new NCM Foursquare advertising program will roll out through NCM’s regional sales team, bringing Foursquare's unique combination of check-ins, local search and consumer loyalty to NCM's regional and local clients.
“Going to the movies is one of America’s original and unique social experiences, so it is only natural that conversations about movies continue in social media,” Marks concluded. “By expanding our digital capabilities through smart partnerships, NCM can now offer upfront buyers the full power of cinema — on-screen, on-site, online and on mobile devices.”
“The Bigger Picture in cinema has always been about content, scale and engagement, but we’re now expanding it beyond the theater to include the world of mobile and social — helping brands reach audiences at every step of the movie-going process,” said Cliff Marks, president of sales and marketing with NCM Media Networks. “Coming off of the biggest year ever at the box office, NCM is a viable option for national TV and video upfront dollars, especially considering the enormous weekend reach of the NCM network and the continued fragmentation that is affecting both viewership and engagement in other mediums.”
Beginning with the big screen, NCM showcased the best Hollywood content from the upcoming movie season including a special guest appearance by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro presenting never-before-seen footage and the new trailer from his highly anticipated Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Pacific Rim sci-fi action adventure opening on July 12.
NCM also announced advertising opportunities from its FirstLook pre-show program to film tie-ins to exclusive partnerships with the Academy Awards, the Golden Globe Awards and the Tribeca Film Festival.
“Bigger really is better. Not only does our NCM network reach over 700 million moviegoers a year, but the high level of engagement from our audience is unique to the cinema medium. Our viewers made a decision to go to the movies — they chose to come out with friends and family to watch our 40-foot screen and be entertained,” Marks continued.
Because the social activity of going to the movies extends far beyond the theater, NCM also unveiled new ways for brands to go beyond the big screen and reach audiences before, during and after the movie. NCM has created the largest online and mobile entertainment network in the marketplace, featuring more than 40 top entertainment-related websites and more than 100 mobile applications related to the movie-going experience.
Reaching more than 50 million monthly uniques, NCM’s Online and Mobile Networks will now expand FirstLook to digital video and second-screen mobile applications, including:
FirstLook5 — A new five-minute online and mobile video version of NCM’s FirstLook pre-show, FirstLook5 features world-class entertainment content along with advertising for a truly integrated original video platform.
FirstLook Sync App — NCM’s second-screen app will launch later this month as part of Regal Entertainment Group’s Regal App, the mobile platform of the largest and most geographically diverse theater circuit in the U.S. FirstLook Sync seamlessly interacts with NCM’s FirstLook pre-show through audio recognition technology, designed to give movie audiences direct response capability and automatically remind them to be courteous and turn off their cell phone when FirstLook ends and the movie trailers begin. The new FirstLook Sync will also be available as a stand-alone app, and will be integrated into NCM’s Movie Night Out app and other NCM-affiliated movie theater circuit apps going forward.
NCM also announced a new deal with Entertainment Weekly, one of the leading entertainment magazines and websites, to help brands create custom sponsored content around Hollywood buzz. Editor Jess Cagle will host new red carpet vignettes on-screen in NCM’s FirstLook pre-show, bringing moviegoers the latest in movie and entertainment news from Entertainment Weekly.
NCM’s upfront strategy, begun last year, has gained significant traction in the marketplace. To date, in addition to upfront commitments from its FirstLook content partners ABC Networks, A&E Television Networks, CBS Entertainment, Hasbro, Microsoft, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Turner Broadcasting System, NCM has booked upfront deals with clients in the Retail, QSR, Insurance, Military, Home Video, and Import Auto categories.