Cinema advertising breaks new barriers

posted by Michael Zoldessy on December 28, 2006 at 4:50 am

Cellit is introducing texting technology to be incorportated into preshow ads.

Cellit, LLC announced today its landmark agreement with Cinema Screen Media, LLC (CSM) to provide mobile marketing services to CSM’s clients. CSM’s on-screen advertisers will now be able to incorporate text messaging features into their pre-movie slideshow display, creating innovative, interactive promotions. CSM will start offering these services in the Phoenix metro area, while planning for a national roll-out.

Using Cellit’s technology, moviegoers can interact with specific promotions showcased in the pre-movie slideshow. By texting the advertiser’s selected keyword to a special 5-digit phone number included in the pre-movie slideshow, the audience can obtain additional product information, text their vote on a topic, or participate in games and contests.

To read more, go to Broadcast Newsroom.

Comments (16)

grandcameo on December 28, 2006 at 9:45 am


Let’s encourage people to use cell phones in auditoriums!

schmadrian on December 28, 2006 at 10:02 am




All the time.

There will be no ‘Off’ switch.

LawMann on December 28, 2006 at 10:19 am

Theatres should be eliminating ads, not enhancing them. Just who’s stupid idea was this anyway?

schmadrian on December 28, 2006 at 10:23 am

Whose idea was it? Someone trying to generate additional revenues. You know, as in ‘staying afloat’…?

jnjeisen on December 28, 2006 at 10:42 am

The short-term gain is not worth the long-term damage to the theatres “image”. Theatres need to be very careful with their programming. Customers hate screen ads, even before the posted showtime.

schmadrian on December 28, 2006 at 10:51 am

I tend to think that the ‘theatres’ recognize that they are under attack from many directions and that they’ll take the risk of alienating some customers if they can somehow, even to a teeny-weensy extent, stem the tide.

The people who are turned-off sufficiently by screen-ads to actually stop going…I think there are far more weighty aspects that get them to that point. Screen adverising might simply be the tipping-point.

I mean, for me, I cannot believe that we’ve essentially ‘put up with’ commercials on television since its inception. (I don’t watch it.) Yes, you can tivo, etc, but it’s pretty fascinating what people will put up with to get what they want, isn’t it…?

shoeshoe14 on December 28, 2006 at 2:57 pm

This is a mistake. People should not be relying on technology all the time. I have a cell phone not only because it’s cheaper than a land line, but because i don’t want to be bothered by telemarketers, etc. This is a somewhat invasion of privacy.

schmadrian on December 28, 2006 at 3:08 pm

Where is ths ‘invasion of privacy’? My understanding is that you have to text them in order for anything to happen.

And why would you think in an age of media penetration that cell phone use would somehow be exempt from ‘unsolicited communication’? Can’t think of a medium that’s safe from that…not even your mailbox…

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 28, 2006 at 4:53 pm

Anything that encourages the use of cellphones and texting in a cinema is a very bad idea.

JimRankin on December 28, 2006 at 7:09 pm

Re schmadrian’s remark about decades of commercials on TV, it should be pointed out that that was an entirely different ball game. Nobody may have liked commercials, but everyone knew they paid the way, and most Americans were not eager to go the way of the British and others and have to pay a yearly license fee to turn on your own TV legally. But with cinemas, one has already paid admission, so commercials there — or anything like them — is annoying even before you have to live with them in the audience.

Unsolicited communications and cell phones right in the cinema? Get used to it, for unless you turn off the power to your device, the cell system’s computer always knows who you are and where you are! Soon, every chain’s cinemas will have hidden antennas installed that will scan all phones or devices in the audience and will ‘ring’ them all or just select ones to deliver ads, games or whatever the promoters think will turn you on to their products. ‘We have met the enemy, and he is us.’ I read that another outfit is designing invisible laser scanners to search the eyes of the audience when the lights go down, rather like the recent Tom Cruise movie. Don’t you think the chains are rocking back in their corporate chairs salivating at the idea of so many access fees from these ‘communicators’? You bet your boots they are, and as the Robber Barons said a century ago: “The public good be damned!”

Yes, of course the whole thing is a terrible idea, but that is the nature of free enterprise without morals: the profits of a few always outweigh the good of the many, and you will be denounced for being anti-enterprise if you oppose the latest wrinkle to steal the show from the showman. (Or is the showman now the advertiser??)

schmadrian on December 29, 2006 at 12:19 am

Yes, Jim, but we have choice, don’t we? None of us will have to submit ourselves to this kind of experience in the cinema, will we…?

(As far as my analogy regarding tv: it’s always been an advertising medium that’s just happened to have programming. I present it as a comparison simply because having spent time away from ‘the idiot box’, I’m appalled that people actualy shrug at the 17 minutes' worth of commercials each hour…like obedient sheep… Not that I’ve ever witnessed sheep shrugging, of course.)

schmadrian on December 29, 2006 at 12:29 am

“But with cinemas, one has already paid admission, so commercials there — or anything like them — is annoying even before you have to live with them in the audience.”

But there has never been any tacit ‘agreement’ that all you’d get at the cinema would be the movies. That’s just tradition.

But even traditions change. Where are my cartoons? Where are my news reels? Where are my serials, where are my shorts…where are the confectionary gals with tea, coffee, munchies…and dammit, where’s my cigar/cigarette gal?!? What if I run out of smokes part the way through the film?!?

Personally, I don’t understand the umbrage taken at ‘commercials’. They take place before the film. They don’t interrupt its viewing. When some amount of thought is put into their selection (and admittedly, this generally isn’t the case in the US, Canada or the UK), they’re actually great to watch; the recent animate Coke commercial, fer instance. (Again, I stress this is MY opinon here. I don’t see what people get upset over…and I’m the one who has a better reason to complain, as I’m in there nearly 200 times a year.

(BTW; the British tv license fee is really only for the BBC. Other networks/channels still show ads…)

shoeshoe14 on December 29, 2006 at 4:23 pm

Then there’s the pandora’s box of certain multinationals that pay to advertise in the cinemas. Lots of money vs how they treat their workers. ie. Coca-Cola. 1 out of every 10 union workers in Colombia are killed by paramilitary forces (SINALTRAINAL) hired by Coca-Cola when they threaten to unionize.

The questions arise? Do you take their money because you depend on it or do you ask the right questions? Socially-responsible corporations?

schmadrian on December 29, 2006 at 11:15 pm

That’s a valid point in a world where we all need to take more responsibility. However…

If you’re going to start demanding accountability, maybe it should start by taking a look at our individual governments' behaviour, both internally and outside borders. Because I find it kindasorta ‘lame’ that people take umbrage at coporations' transgressions when their own governments can be lambasted for so much. And to me, there’s an even stronger case to be made for the culpability of the ‘consumer’, the people who gave them the power in the first place, and then hide behind ignorance, the ‘Gee, I didn’t know about any of that…’

So; where do you draw the line?

TLSLOEWS on May 21, 2010 at 11:06 am

What will they think of next.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 6, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Just be glad you and me worked in “THE GOOD OLD DAYS”.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment