NCM’s President of Sales & Marketing, Cliff Marks, joined the thousands of advertising executives in Cannes this week to represent the U.S. cinema advertising industry at the Screen Advertising World Association (SAWA)’s annual seminar.

“The essence of the Cannes Lions event is about bringing the most senior marketing and agency executives together to celebrate the best advertising around the world as voted on by a jury of their peers,” Marks said. “I love to attend because I am able to meet with thought leaders and sit in on presentations about some of the hottest topics facing the advertising industry. Much of the week focuses on innovation, execution and actual brand sales results — actual return on investment.”

Back to the Future was the theme for this year’s SAWA: The Cinema Medium – The Portal To The Future seminar, taking its cue from the film Back to the Future II when Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel from the year 1985 to 2015.  SAWA went all out — even parking the Back to the Future DeLorean on the steps of the Palais de Festivale to inspire delegates to come to the seminar, which was hosted by Celluloid Junkie Co-Founder and Co-Editor Patrick von Sychowski dressed as Doc Brown.

SAWA DeLorean

With 2015 predicted to be one of the biggest years ever at the movies, it was the perfect opportunity for SAWA members to showcase cinema advertising innovations from across the globe:

  • The UK’s Digital Cinema Media, along with technology partner Yummi Media Group, presented their cinime cinema companion app in an innovative demo including a look at a recent BMW campaign and a Hollywood Squares-style trivia quiz game. The cinime app is designed to entertain and engage audiences before and after the movie, and is able to interact with the big screen without needing a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. They even created a special SAWA cinime version of the app for delegates to play along during the seminar.
  • NCM gave the international audience a look at its partnerships with Twitter and Shazam. The new Twitter-powered one-minute weekly show will take a fun look at the top trending movie and entertainment content on Twitter and Vine. NCM’s partnership with Shazam gives U.S. moviegoers an easy way to engage with the cinema pre-show experience using one of the world’s most popular apps. NCM’s FirstLook pre-show will soon be entirely Shazamazble, giving advertisers a way to literally put a brand in the hands of moviegoers, and giving moviegoers the ability to identify, explore, purchase and share content from the big screen.
  • Australian-based FINCH introduced the next phase of the “The Most Powerful Arm” campaign in partnership with Digital Cinema Media. In the original campaign, a mechanical arm was linked to Facebook where people could have their name signed on a petition to the Australian government to fund clinical trials for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) in the handwriting of Jacob, a young DMD sufferer who can no longer write. The campaign drew an impressive 32,000 signatures and 6.7 million Facebook impressions with almost no media budget, and became the most successful Australian health-related petition ever. In its next phase, the arm will live in a London theater lobby where it will sign, in real time, the names of moviegoers who sign the petition on their mobile phones during the cinema pre-show.

“I have never been more optimistic about the future of cinema, as NCM continues to grow in size and scale and introduce better targeted opportunities for brands,” Marks concluded. “Our agencies and clients seem to be very optimistic about the future of the NCM offering as well.”

The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2014 runs from June 15 – 21. The winners of Film category will be announced on Saturday, June 21.


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