Dubbed Noovie, the initiative on 20,600 screens from AMC, Regal, Cinemark and 49 other chains replaces FirstLook and updates the first major pre-show NCMI introduced nearly 15 years ago, The 2wenty. Unlike in those pre-social-media days, exhibitors, studios and brands alike are now battling for consumer attention and investment like never before.
One way the new material shown before the trailers will try to break through is by emphasizing behind-the-scenes material from upcoming Disney titles like Star Wars, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, Black Panther, A Wrinkle in Time and more. Noovie Backlot segments spotlighting Disney fare will run through June 2018. The first one, pegged to the Pixar release Coco, will feature a real-life Xolo dog at Pixar studios emulating the animated Xolo dog Dante in the film, doing things like playing catch and grabbing lunch.
Noovie Soundcheck, an exclusive, cinema-first music series in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment’s Rumble Yard, features unscripted, unrehearsed moments with performers before the concert crowds arrive. The first segment will feature Foo Fighters, filmed during the soundcheck for their recent Landmarks Live in Concert show shot at the Acropolis in Greece.
Noovie will also feature trivia games, fantasy sport and a rotation of branded content from the likes of Amazon, Nintendo, Toyota and TV and film companies like Hulu, NBC and Turner, plus national, regional and local ads.
“It’s the next step in the evolution of cinema advertising in America, and we’ve come a long way from those old slide carousels,” CEO Andy England told Deadline. “We’re building it all to be a great consumer experience, which will of course make it a great opportunity for brands as well. And the more brands want to be a part of “what’s Noovie,” the better it is for NCM’s bottom line.”
While the distraction-free environment of a movie theater has been proven to increase ad recall and purchase intent, National Cinemedia is also making Noovie what England calls an “ownable entertainment brand,” in part with a branded app and social media channels. Those other platforms “will allow us to consistently drive people from the pre-show to mobile and back again.”