| Tuesday July 22nd 2014

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Why Commercials Before Movies Is Worse Than Piracy


never-watching-commercials.gifBeing subjected to advertising is just something we’ve come to expect in our daily routines, and for most of us, we’ve become so conditioned to various advertising methods that we don’t even think twice about it. There is nothing wrong with advertising in and of itself. It’s how we learn about products, services and entertainment. Advertising is also the big main source of revenue for things we hold dear like television and The Movie Blog (which is 100% funded by advertising), so I’m certainly never going to rail on the evils of advertising.

However, advertising in movie theaters is a topic that has been brought up here on The Movie Blog more than a few times, and a recent report by the Cinema Advertising Council in the New York Post begs us to once again revisit the issue. We’ve all figured that commercials playing in movie theaters was worth a lot of money… but did you realize its worth almost HALF A BILLION DOLLARS? The IMDB gives us this:

Revenue from in-theater advertising rose more than 15 percent to $456 million from $395 million a year ago… The Post quoted CAC Chairman Cliff Marks as expressing the belief that moviegoers are becoming “more accepting” of screen advertising. A recent Arbitron poll indicated that two-thirds of moviegoers “don’t mind” the ads.

Don’t mind the ads? DON’T MIND THE ADS???

First, I should mention here that I don’t mind the idea of movie theaters making money. It’s a business. They exist to make money, and if they can find new creative ways to generate money then I say more power to them. If they can come up with new ways to get my money while providing me with some new service or product that I’m willing to pay for… then good for them.

Second, there are types of advertising in movie theaters I “don’t mind”. For example, if the movie is supposed to start at 7pm and I get into my seat at 6:45pm, I really don’t mind commercials and ads being shown on the screen until showtime. I’m just sitting there anyway, it’s not taking away from my time since the show isn’t advertised to start for another 15 minutes… so really… showing ads in that vacuum is no skin off my nose, it gives me something to look at while I wait, and it generates some income for the theaters. GREAT! It’s a win/win for everyone.

But you don’t have to have a degree in advertising to know that the bulk of that $456 million in ad money doesn’t come from those “pre-show” commercials. Oh no no no no… most of that money comes from the ads I LOATHE. The commercials (not trailers… I like those) that they start playing at the time they advertised the MOVIE was supposed to start.

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