Study: 97 percent of cinema goers watch the ads

Research using eye-tracking technology has shown that cinema is way out in front of other media when it comes to ad attention.

The US study, conducted by National CineMedia, Lumen and dentsu, used eye-tracking and questionnaires to assess ad attention in cinemas and its impact on recall and intention to purchase.

Cinemagoers agreed to be filmed watching Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in an environment set up to mimic a regular moviegoing experience. 151 participants took part over six screenings. Infrared cameras captured their attention to the screen, and their pupil and body movements.

Ten brands participated including Wendy’s, adidas and others from retail, automotive, apparel, CPG, QSR, telecom, entertainment and pharma.

The study concluded that ads played in cinemas ranked number one for consumer attention when measured against all other video platforms. Key insights included:

  • Cinema attention scores were four to seven times greater than for all other video channels including TV, CTV, social and digital ads
  • Two-and-a-half times more consumers watched ads playing in cinema compared to TV and CTV – 97 percent for cinema ads versus 38 percent for TV and 35 percent for CTV ads.
  • Consumers watched cinema ads for a three times longer than for TV and CTV and up to ten times longer than social media

Mike Follett, Managing Director of Lumen Research, said: “If theres one thing weve learned over more than ten years tracking attention metrics, its that you never know what advertisement or medium will be the most engaging for consumers. This important study will help shape how advertisers view their in-cinema advertising strategy.”

Mike Rosen, Chief Revenue Officer at NCM, added: “We are seeing the marketplace start to shift from the long-time legacy metric of exposure to the more relevant new measure of attention when analysing the relative value of media platforms. Lumen’s new attention study proves what we have always believed – that cinema advertising is the best medium for brands to reach and engage our young, diverse, and highly valuable audience.”