The best stories deserve to be experienced on the big screen

    Author Zoe Aresti

Digital Cinema Media’s (DCM) Research and Insight Manager, Michael Tull, looks at the power of storytelling and why cinema is the perfect place for brands looking to bring their narrative to life, in front of an audience who are waiting to be captivated by great storytelling.

Ariana Huffington once said: “People think in stories, not statistics, and marketers need to be master storytellers”, an assertion which has become increasingly true as advertisers continue to try and unearth that campaign which resonates with their audience, sparking an emotional connection and driving affinity for their brand.  

At the end of last year, Aesop published their third annual ‘brand storytelling survey’ results showcasing 2015’s top storytelling brands. From the likes of Apple, Google and Netflix to Macmillan, Ikea and the National Trust, the survey highlights those brands that have been able to clearly demonstrate “who they are, what they stand for and what their ultimate purpose is”. 

The brands listed in the Top 20 of 2015 have all employed a wide range of media in their communications mix, with between five and eight channels used by all of the strongest storytellers (based on January - October 2015 Nielsen AdDynamix data).

AV is a key part of this mix and for seventeen of the top 20 brands, cinema has formed part of their strategy across the year and has helped bring their stories to life. 

So why do these advertisers have cinema in the mix and why should those who don’t currently use it consider adding it in? 

Our latest research, Building Box Office Brands, has highlighted how one of cinema’s strengths is its ability to help contribute to brand love and difference. These are essential ingredients for brands who want to strike a deeper emotional connection with audiences and stand out from the crowd with a clear proposition and purpose. 

The research, published in partnership with Millward Brown, details the contribution that each channel makes towards key brand metrics. On average, cinema contributes 2.4% per person exposed towards brand love (the next best contributor is TV at 1.4%) and 2.9% per person exposed towards brand difference (the next best contributor is magazines at 1.9%). This makes cinema the most effective channel (and one of the most efficient) for contributing to these key engagement metrics and highlights its real potential for brands looking to tell stories that will engage and stand out. 

With this in mind, 2016 is lining up to be another fantastic year for cinema with some of the most compelling stories of next year calling the big screen their home – from the affecting (Room, Spotlight) to the thrilling (The Girl On The Train, Inferno), the nostalgic (The Jungle Book, The BFG) to the hilarious (Bad Neighbours 2, David Brent: Life On The Road).

This makes cinema the perfect place for those brands keen to bring their own narrative to life in front of an audience who are waiting to be captivated by great storytelling.  

As JK Rowling (writer of the Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them screenplay, out in November) once said: “There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place”, and this is just as true of the stories in the ad reel as it is of the main event that everyone’s come to see.

To see how cinema can help bring your brand story to life, please get in touch with your agency rep for more information.