Hi Sufyan, welcome to BackLite. The launch of BackLite Cinema is an exciting new opportunity for BackLite; tell us a bit more about the new division
What we do is connect marketers with moviegoers, and the biggest way in which we do that is through pre-shows. We are looking at expanding that contact into the lobbies and integrate with digital media. That’s a fun thing to be doing. I’m excited to do more, and I think data is going to be the key. Being smarter about who you’re targeting, where you’re targeting them, and with what message and how well thought out it is.
How does Roxy Cinemas fit into BackLite’s product portfolio?
BackLite has been in business in the UAE for over 20 years and has achieved great success with almost all the major local, regional and international brands advertising on our diverse range of outdoor and digital assets. Roxy Cinemas offers its audiences a unique and premium movie going experience that is an ideal fit in our portfolio. We are delighted to partner with them as we can now offer our clients a prestigious and highly targeted platform that our clients are comfortable associating with.
What are the market dynamics for the cinema advertising category…the opening of cinemas in Saudi Arabia is obviously very exciting…?
To serve a population of more than 32 million, most of whom are under the age of 30, Saudi Arabia plans to set up around 350 cinemas with over 2,500 screens by 2030, which will attract nearly $1 billion in annual ticket sales…that’s nearly five times the UAE’s current market! As the KSA is a priority market for brands this will be a huge boost in the advertising space.
And what about the Dubai market in particular?
We have seen exponential growth in cinema advertising over the years. Marketers today realize the value of the big screen that defines cinema, to be the medium of choice to strengthen a brand and attract new customers.
Audience growth and box office results over recent years show that cinema-going in UAE is thriving and becoming an ever more engaging, diverse and immersive experience and I see this only growing in the future.
Everyone wants a bigger slice of the ad-spend pie – how do you plan on achieving this for cinema?
Cinema allows a certain geo-targeting that TV cannot replicate and even generates impact that digital videos cannot create. The key is not to evaluate absolute CPV of cinema ads, but effective CPV over a period of time. Being an enclosed captive medium, cinema also leads to higher recall of brands and provides incremental reach effectively.
What’s your take on the future of cinemas & cinema advertising?
You can expect better cinemas in terms of the quality, as well as continued audience growth and unique blockbusters. Cinema’s core strengths of delivering a dark room, an undistracted audience that has actively chosen to pay attention, and immersive cut-through, will only continue to get stronger, not weaker.
Agency partners and clients will continue to demand a premium level of service, buying routes will change where the pre-show content will be pushed through real-time and will be geo-targeted to help clients make the most impactful use of cinema advertising that will provide an excellent platform for brands to engage with their target audience.