How to Reach Moviegoers This Summer

By Elsa Castro Blumberg


Things have been heating up this summer at the box office. Top Gun: Maverick topped the $1 billion mark in global box-office revenue over the course of its five-week run in theaters. It's not the only film that's earning the attention of moviegoers – Paramount's Top Gun was in a dead heat with Warner's Elvis biopic on its opening weekend, and Universal's Jurassic World: Dominion has also been a top grosser.

This summer also marks the end to pandemic era movie delays with the July 1 opening of Minions, which was originally scheduled for theatrical release two years ago. But what is most significant this season is the number of blockbusters contributing to the domestic box office. According to The Hollywood Reporter, June 24 to 26th was the first non-holiday weekend in five years where four films grossed at least $20 million.

After a two-year lull, moviegoers now have a slate of prestige, buzzworthy summer hits to choose from. There is no shortage of options when it comes to entertainment today, which is why programmers and film studios are tasked with cutting through the clutter to win viewer's attention and consideration. It comes down to reaching the right audience with a message on the small screen to drive viewers to the big screen.

Use TV to Drive Content Discovery

In research conducted last year in partnership with MarketCast, we found that advertising, but most especially ads that appear on a TV screen, are key to informing viewing decisions. US consumers surveyed reported they were three times more likely to hear about a show or movie from an ad on TV than from ads on social media. For moviegoers, an ad on TV is the most effective source for inspiration, with 1 in 3 reporting a TV ad got them to go out and see a film in theaters.

Message Early and Often to Build Awareness

Consumers today prioritize entertainment and welcome ads that introduce them to new content. For instance, 2 in 3 said they would prefer to see an ad for a show or movie multiple times than just one. Additionally, half of consumers keep a list to track the shows and movies they want to watch and generally make their picks a month or more before they sit down to watch, which is why they value repeat reminders.

Leverage Contextual and Audience-Based Ad Solutions on TV

TV makes for a natural environment to promote upcoming shows and movies, whether that's within streaming content or a traditional linear feed. Furthermore, programmers and film studios can rely on TV to strike the right balance between contextual and audience-based approaches like data-driven linear and addressable.

For example, 84 percent of consumers said that an ad for a show or movie is effective when it mentions something relevant to their interests, while 71 percent said it is effective when it appears while watching a similar genre.

For moviegoers, the leading reason they say they saw a movie in theaters is because the film genre is best experienced on the big screen. While that may be true, it's the small screen that is first capturing their attention and landing them in cinemas this summer.

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

Elsa Castro Blumberg is the VP of client analytics for DIRECTV Advertising. As part of the DIRECTV Analytics & Insights team, Elsa works closely with agency partners and clients to demonstrate how Addressable technology helps advertisers connect with key audiences while effectively managing reach and frequency. Elsa delivers consultative solutions for client campaign objectives for all budgets and is responsible for audience estimates for linear TV inventory, primary research and thought leadership, and brand health campaign measurement for DIRECTV and DIRECTV Stream products and services. She also manages the team responsible for activation and attribution efforts for the Tune-In vertical.