National CineMedia, the nations’ biggest in-theater advertising firm, had a tough 2020 but is unspooling a reimagined Noovie Preshow this weekend timed to the record eyeballs awaiting Spider-Man: No Way Home.
A consortium of the nation’s biggest theater chains, National CineMedia’s preshow, the cornerstone of its business, runs on nearly 21,000 screens, about 75% of the domestic box office, playing for 20-30 minutes before previews. It had several iterations, the latest from 2017. NCMI wanted a more engaging and culturally relevant show that’s less random and “more holistic,” said Amy Tunick, who joined the company as chief marketing officer in August.
The moviegoing audience changed since Covid, she told Deadline, so “the idea was to modernize the show, the content, to align with what our young, diverse audiences — 18 to 34 year-olds – want.”
That includes creating new advertiser-sponsored “shows within the show.” Series like Noovie Presents Perri’s Picks, where you reviewer/entertainment writer/producer/influencer Perri Nemiroff talks about upcoming The Matrix Resurrections, Scream (5) and Moonfall.
In the first episode of another, called Noovieverse, hosts Brad Lambert (producer/speaker/talent mananger/influencer) and Greg Alba (screewriter/influencer) break down the biggest upcoming films from Marvel and DC, in this one it was Morbius.
“Each episode is premium property for us,” Tunick said.
Another new feature called Noovie Unwind shows relaxing nature clips of rain, outer space, fireflies where sponsors can attach their brands – i.e. “Unwind with X.”
Not everything changed. Maria Menounos hosts, there are trivia games (updated), behind-the-scenes movie footage, and commercials. Tunick said NCMI will do more branded content in-house. “If an advertiser wants something targeted — not just a traditional brand spot they were running in linear, but through the lens of the moviegoing experience — we can collaborate with them.”
Key moviegoers right now are 18-34. And it so happens “that is what advertisers want. It is very hard to reach them in other mediums,” she said.
Asked about the impact of Covid and the reserving of seats that takes pressure off arriving early, she shrugged it off. “We are seeing people, when they commit to a night at the movies, they go, they go get popcorn, beverages and even with a reserved seat are going and having that cinematic experience,” she said. “People like to come to the trailers. Many are still coming even earlier to get settled in and get their seats.” A better, buzzier Noovie could draw them earlier still on a regular basis.
Tunick said feedback on social media was great for a test of the new Noovie that played before Eternals and touted Spider-Man: No Way Home.
No brand overhaul of the Noovie name is planned although she didn’t discount one might come.
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