The Screen Advertising World Association was founded in 1954. In 2015, just as the cinema world was becoming fully digital, the name was changed to SAWA the Global Cinema Advertising Association. That was the same year the group partnered with the United Nations on its ongoing efforts to end world hunger. SAWA now represents the cinema-advertising medium with more than 60 members in 38 countries. The membership includes cinema advertising companies, research companies that analyze, collect data, and conduct research on behalf of the medium, and technology companies who supply products and services to the business. The pandemic has not been kind to anyone involved in cinema and SAWA members were no exception. Despite that, in my conversation with SAWA CEO Cheryl Wannell, conducted via email, she remained completely upbeat about what the future holds for cinema advertising. We began, however, by talking about the pandemic.
SAWA the Global Cinema Advertising Association
Last month, as is widely known, the Nobel Peace Prize was given to the United Nation’s World Food Program for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict. What is, perhaps, less widely known is the important role that cinema advertising has played, and continues to play, in that effort. That role is led by SAWA, which was founded in 1954 as the Screen Advertising World Association. The name was changed to SAWA the Global Cinema Advertising Association in 2015, the same year the group partnered with the UN on its efforts to end world hunger. My conversation with SAWA CEO Cheryl Wannell began there.