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This week I am on the road in West Bend, Wisconsin working with local businesses here in West Bend to create Cinema Ads that really work.  It’s funny that just about every place I go, people always seem to be talking about the latest movie they have seen and what movies they can’t wait to come out next.  That’s why I love what I do, because I know that everyone that advertises with me has the opportunity to be on the same screen as that movie everyone is going to be talking about tomorrow.  The sad thing is so many people just don’t take advantage of the opportunity they with their Cinema Ad.

Just like the movies that people talk about you have to make your ad unique, something that is different and yes maybe even shocking or at least surprising to those in the audience.  Get their attention, get your message in front of them and watch how many people start talking about your ad.  The good thing with a Cinema ad is that it runs on every screen before every movie even when the movies change your ad can stay in place and if it’s creative you may even get people looking forward to seeing your ad.

People love to see celebrities and in this day of Reality TV, anyone can be a celebrity, even you, your employees or your family members.  If you really want to experience the power of a Cinema Ad, put yourself in the ad and watch how many people in your community start looking at you differently or asking you if you are that person from the Movie theater.  Which goes right back to branding your business with a Human whether it is you, a star employee or a family member, people love to see people in person that they have seen on the big screen.

Have a spectacular facility ? a beautiful store or spa or fitness facility, showcase in a Cinema ad, most people probably have just seen the outside of your business, show them the inside.  Earlier today, I stopped in at a furniture store that from the outside appearance and frankly from the name of the store appeared to be a retailer of either very cheap furniture or used furniture but when I walked in the door, I was amazed at the high quality, beautifully displayed furniture.  I wonder how many people that are potential customers never step inside because they have never caught a glimpse of the beauty of this store.  This retailer certainly could use the theme of don’t judge a book by it’s cover.

If you are a professional like a Doctor, Dentist or other Health Practitioner and you have a personal story that led you to your career, why not use the big screen to tell your story ?  People love to work with people that are passionate about what they do and about their patients.  The possibilities are endless, why not create some real buzz and water cooler discussions about your business or practice ?  The Movies are waiting for you.


Between now and the July 4th holiday is high season for Blockbuster releases at your local Cinema.  As a result this is the best possible time to get your full motion digital ads up and running on your local cinema screen.  Large audiences for these upcoming blockbusters mean your ads will be even more cost effective than during the rest of the year.  I am now offering 3 and 6 month advertising plans to my clients so they can take advantage of the upcoming blockbuster season without being locked in for the whole year.  This is the perfect time for many businesses to try Cinema Advertising for the first time or as seasoned Cinema advertisers already know it’s high season for big results.  With the economy showing some signs of life, getting a High Impact Cinema ad up and running now will ensure that the cash register starts ringing up new revenue in the New Year.

As I have said before, make sure you take the time to work with someone that can help you create an ad that is creative and stands out as not just another ad.  Cinema ads are fun and give you the opportunity to do things you can’t do in other advertising mediums.   Everyone goes to the Cinema to be entertained so take the time to make sure your ad isn’t just information but that it is very entertaining and demands attention for your business.

So what are the upcoming potential Blockbusters for 2011 ?  In January look for “The Green Hornet”,  “Season of the Witch” with Nicholas Cage, Anthony Hopkins in “The Rite”, Vince Vaughn in” the Dilemma”, and Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman in “No Strings Attached”.  For February it’s “I am Number Four”,  Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston in “Just Go With It”, and for Valentine;s day  “Gnomeo and Juliet” in 3D.  March brings us the much anticipated “Rango”  with Johnny Depp, Robert DeNiro in “Limitless”, Matt Damon in “The Adjustment Bureau“, “Red Riding Hood” and “The Lincoln Lawyer”.  Kids rule in April with “Rio” from the creators of “Ice Age”, “Hop” from the creators of “Despicable Me” and “Born to be Wild” in 3D.  May promises to be a huge month with the new “Pirates of the Caribbean” installment and “Thor” the sequel to “Iron Man”.  June may outdo May with “X-Men:First Class“, “Green Lantern” and “Cars 2”. If May and June weren’t enough, how about the upcoming July Blockbusters, “The Transformers” movie, “Captain America”, the latest “Harry Potter”Film and ” Cowboys and Aliens” with Harrison Ford.

Talk about high impact, what other media works this hard to put people in theaters to see your message ? That’s right, Cinema advertising can’t be beat and with huge crowds lining up West Bendfor these blockbusters it means auditoriums fill up early giving your ad even more exposure.  My advertisers can count on their ad appearing 2- 3 times before the start of each film.  Imagine your ad playing on screen before a packed auditorium waiting to see the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie.  Just like product placement in the movies, placing your ad before a blockbuster film gives you a leg up on your competition.  What are you waiting for ?  Let’s get to work on an ad that takes advantage of High Season at the Cinema !

What is the fastest way for you or your business to become a star in your local community ?  A well produced Cinema ad.  With the millions of messages your customers and prospects are bombarded with everyday on Television, Radio, Printed Publications, etc,  a cinema ad at your local theater is the quickest and most effective way to get in front of your potential and current customers.  If you ever wanted to do more than get your message out but also wanted to get you or your business(your brand) talked about in your community, taking the time to create a cinema ad that features you, your family, your employees, your customers, a pet and your business will do wonders to elevate your business and put your unique brand on it.

Back in the 50’s and 60’s before cable, Satellite, VCR, DVR, You Tube, Internet and streaming video when there were only a few choices to watch on TV, even in Southern California, entrepreneurs like car dealer Cal Worthington built and branded their businesses through the use of creative and yes sometimes extremely goofy TV ads.  With a Cinema ad you have the opportunity to do the same without having to worry about your audience switching to one of the other 5,000 choices on cable or satellite or fast forwarding through your commercial.  You can appear on the same Big Screen that the biggest Hollywood stars are appearing on, it’s your opportunity to firmly plant your star in the heads of prospects and customers.

Far too many people who decide they want to run an ad at their local theater, simply take photos and throw together something that looks like an ad.  When I work with people on their Cinema Ads, they have to hit me over the head with a large hammer or chair to get me to let them run a run of the mill ad.  If you are going to make the investment in a cinema ad, make sure you are dealing with a company that is first and foremost creative and focused on getting results for you.  Secondly, don’t deal with any company that won’t produce a full motion, digital ad, in other words don’t take a print ad and put it up on the screen in the form of slides.  If you are going to be at the cinema you want your ad to be a full motion video that tells a story or for that matter a joke (make it a good one, although bad ones sometimes work better).  Make the decision who will be the face of your business and will help you create a brand locally.  You can be the face of your business as can a star employee (caution here, employee’s move on when you least expect it)or other family members or as we have seen lately, many family pets have not only become the face but also the voice of many businesses. (make sure your pet speaks clearly if he or she is going to be the spokesperson 🙂 ) .  Seriously, a pet can be the face and an announcer’s voice can be used to talk on behalf of the pet.  I can’t tell you how many times that a dog that is a mascot for a business draws in customers just for the chance to see the dog.

With Cinema advertising the sky is the limit, so don’t limit yourself to anything but a super creative, attention-getting, brand building ad that makes you and your business the star of the show.  I would even go as far to tell you that you should challenge the Cinema ad company  you are dealing with to help you create an ad that makes people almost as excited to go to the theater to see your ad as they are to see the movie.  Believe me, it can be done, it just takes some creativity.

inflatable billboard (AIRSCREEN) in front of a...

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Cinema Advertising has become so effective for countless reasons but the Audience Factor has to be a huge consideration when designing your ad to be as effective as possible.  Most advertising catches people by themselves, either reading a print ad, listening to the radio in the car or watching TV alone.  With cinema advertising you ad an auditorium full of people who can participate in your ad if you are creative enough to involve them.  In my last post I shared BMW’s logo burning ad with you and you saw just a glimpse of the interactive possibilities with cinema ads.  While expensive technology plays a part in some of the interactive cinema ad strategies, simple creative ads can also do the same.  I will get into the simple ways to involve the audience shortly, but I wanted to show you another interactive ad that MSNBC used a few years ago that totally involved the audience.  Motion sensors were set up in a theater and the audience became the joysticks in an onscreen video game prior to the screening of Spiderman.  See the ad here:

While involving your audience in a video game may seem like quite an undertaking you can get the same reaction from a crowd with an incredibly creative ad as well.  Whether you shock your audience with the unexpected or build in humor that fires the crowd up, blending your brand or something unique about your business will have the members of your audience buzzing long after they leave the theater.

If my clients are willing and up for it, my goal is to always create a cinema ad that is so memorable that audience members will leave the theater not just talking about the movie but also about that crazy ad they saw for the local restaurant or hair salon. If you are going to run an ad in one of my theaters we are going to make sure it is not only effective but memorable.  Sometimes clients have ads they have already produced for TV or other media that they would like to run, while I have no problems running whatever ad they would like, I think that doing something calm and contained is not doing their business much more than getting a little more recognition.

An outrageous and memorable ad will have the effect of a good workout at the gym, you want it your ad to keep working long after the audience has left the theater just like a good workout keeps burning calories after leaving the gym.  One of the few times that TV advertising actually works these days is Super Bow Ads and the reason they work is each advertiser is trying to outdo the other with a creative ad that will be talked about for weeks.  Cinema advertising allows you to reach your audience in a group setting and if you create the right ad, the crowd will respond and even those few audience members that aren’t paying attention are going to look at the screen to see what all the commotion is about.  I can’t guarantee the response the Human Joystick ad got from the audience in the attached You Tube video but I can surely work to create an ad that is going to get a great response that is focused on your business.

In the coming months I will be posting some of the outrageous and entertaining ads that I will be working with my clients to create.   The Audience factor will play big in all of them.  And while movies bomb and leave the theater for the next movie to come in, your ad will continue to play and if we play our cards right, people will becoming to the theater early just to see the ad that their neighbor, coworker or friend told them about.  Creating an event that promotes your business is what Cinema ads are all about !

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Ever since the 1957 experiment at  New Jersey Theater where subliminal message were placed on the screen that said “Hungry…Eat Popcorn Now” and “Drink Coca-Cola“, the big screen has been implanting messages in people’s minds.  The constant innovation in technology whether subliminal messages, smell-o-vision, improvements in picture and sound quality, 3d or even seats that move with the picture have put the Cinema at the forefront in technology that involves all the senses.  High Tech technical advancements and super creative ads are just a few of the reasons Cinema Ads have become so effective.

The latest “experiment” is being conducted by BMW in your Europe, where they are “burning” the BMW logo into the eyelids of cinema goers.  Follow this link for the amazing story.  While not all of this technology is available or practical for the smaller Cinema advertisers, taking the time to create ads that leave an impression will make your Cinema Ad the most effective advertising you will ever run.  Besides BMW’s brand burning experience in Europe, Old Spice‘s highly effective new ad campaign started in the Cinema and has taken on a life of it’s own.

What other form of advertising allows you to burn your logo into your prospective customer’s eyelids ?  The possibilities are limitless and while I had planned on writing this blog 2 or 3 times a week, I intend to post daily updates when stories like the BMW experiment come up.  Stay tuned, we have only just begun, even if you don’t have a business to advertise, I think you will find the information I am going to write about fascinating from a technology standpoint and a little interesting when it comes to what your mind absorbs on an outing to the Cinema.

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The toughest part of any endeavor is getting started.  Most people won’t start anything until everything is perfect, the lights are all green, the road is clear ahead and their vehicle is clean and in pristine condition.  When it comes to Advertising and Marketing, waiting is the kiss of death, timing is everything which means you have to start and move ahead before everyone else, yes that means running a red light, leaving your drive way before the vehicle is polished and waxed and it may even mean heading down a road that is full of detours and other obstacles.  Getting started and getting your message out there quickly is the most important part of any attempt to promote yourself or your business.

It’s ok to make mistakes, sometimes what you think was a mistake may end up being the greatest advertising idea you ever came up with.  Your advertising is written in stone unless you are only advertising on stone monuments placed in front of your business.  Today everything has changed,  media that worked well for your business in the past may be the worst option imaginable.  Technology has changed everything, even the most technologically  advanced media has found a way to make themselves a problem when it comes to advertisers getting their messages out.

I have spent the last 30 years both selling and buying advertising and marketing services, I have seen first hand what worked well for my clients, what worked well for me and of course had the unique opportunity to be on both ends of advertising campaigns that failed miserably.  I hope to offer the readers of this blog, ideas and suggestions that can Supercharge the sales in their business.  As my nick name suggests (Cinema Ad Guy), I just might have a preference when it comes to media and advertising, but I won’t let that get in the way of giving you real world tips associated with all types of media.  More importantly, the key to success with any media is creativity and getting started.  So a major focus of my blog will be kick starting your program and creatively marketing your business.  My biggest thrill in life these days is helping other people become successful, there’s nothing like that, which is why I think I loved my early years in radio when I was able to work one on one with the people advertising on my radio show.  We didn’t just run ads on that radio show, I helped each and every one of  my clients develop a long-term relationship with their customer base.  That relationship translated into supercharged sales and profits and I hope to help as many entrepreneurs as possible do the same through this blog.  Thanks for checking out my blog and be sure to hit the subscribe button so you won’t miss any installments of my tips for your business.  You can also visit my website at  Like I said earlier the most important thing is getting started, I created this blog and my website in about 4 hours one evening last week, it’s not done, nor will it ever be done, it will be constantly updated, so I hope you will check back frequently.