Spoiler Alert: Millennials Do Watch Ads... At The Movies

Spoiler Alert: Millennials Do Watch Ads... At The Movies

Millennials are overwhelmed with media options at every touch point, yet cinema continues to break through to them, delivering unrivaled results on key brand measures such as ad recall and purchase intent the highest among all demographic groups. Reinforcing cinema advertising's strength amongst this age group, Millennials are most likely to see a TV ad in cinema for the first time. They also indicated that going to the movies is such an important entertainment activity that they would not give it up, says new research from Insight Strategy Group and Lieberman. This research was commissioned by cinema-advertising leader Screenvision, whose theatres attract audiences of more than 50 percent Millennials, and is part of ongoing research into the behaviors and attitudes of this important, hard-to-reach demographic.

"When we asked Millennials what could replace going to the movies for their entertainment plans, they refused to even consider the thought of life without moviegoing," said Karen Van Vleet, Director at Insight Strategy Group. "It was very surprising and exciting to discover that with all of the options available to Millennials, moviegoing stands out as being so central to their lives."

The two-part research began with an in-depth analysis of advertising research conducted during 2011-2013 with Lieberman, and continued this year through deeper engagement research with Insight Strategy Group.

"Given the scale of Millennials in our audience, and their importance to brands, we have a serious commitment to continually monitor and track the impact that brand's messaging has on them," John McCauley, EVP, CMO, Strategic Alliances, Screenvision. "The immersive and captivating cinema environment is a great place to connect with all audiences. Through this research, we've found that cinema's impact stands out versus all other media with Millennials."

Power of the Preshow
Lieberman highlighted the high-impact of cinema advertising with Millennials as they have at least a 10% higher unaided recall, purchase intent, and likelihood of brand recommendation than any other moviegoing generation. In addition, they are 40% more likely to see a TV ad for The First Time in cinema, and more likely to enjoy the ad in cinema as compared to other generations. 1

Movies are a "Non Negotiable"
Armed with the above, Screenvision embarked on additional research with leading millennial research agency, Insight Strategy Group to understand the impact that is created when millennial lifestyle needs and the moviegoing experience overlap. The test group included Millennials ages 24 to 30 who have seen a movie in theatres in the last three months. Through ethnographies, virtual diaries and focus groups, Screenvision uncovered the importance that going to the movies plays in Millennials' lives.

Perhaps most importantly, going to the movies satisfies the three needs that Millennials are looking to sate through entertainment: escape from daily pressures and stresses, connection and community between friends, and social currency that helps them maintain authority in the pop culture space.

"We're calling this the Entertainment Trifecta: escape, connection and social currency. Unlike other mediums, our research found that going to the movies satisfies all three, while also providing nostalgia evoking warm feelings of going to the movies during childhood," said John McCauley, Screenvision. "With the abundance of entertainment choices, the power of moviegoing resonates as such a key entertainment activity, that it is 'non-negotiable.'