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#Hailthedrum: Simon Rees, Digital Cinema Media CEO, on why brands are finally giving the big screen the attention it deserves

“Please switch on your mobile phone” – is this the message cinema goers could soon be seeing?

Not quite, said Simon Rees, CEO of Digital Cinema Media (DCM), who explained that the film is “sacrosanct” in the movie going experience but increasingly consumers are looking to extend it through their mobiles.

His comments came in the back of The Drum’s branded taxi cab as we gave him a lift during Advertising Week Europe.

“Cinema has historically been a domain of big creative ideas and expensive artwork and we’ve seen a trend recently, especially during the recession, of brands shouting more through offers,” explained Rees.

“Now they are beginning to realise the opportunity of cinema in its quite unique place as an immersive experience. Engagement is very high and impact is very high.”

He added that the cinema experience needs to now be seen as “screen agnostic” and so DCM has developed an app – CiniMe - to allow the brands it works with to help engage with the increasingly second screening audience.

Via the app, an advertiser is able to push out a piece of content when a viewer’s phone picks up sonic messages from the cinema screen.

For Rees, BMW is a brand that has used the ‘Cinime’ tech to effect. Its most recent cinema campaign encouraged viewers to select the braking point, acceleration and driving line into a corner when the ad appeared on the big screen.

“[Cinema] is the best immersive experience and it’s beginning to come to life for a lot of brands. Especially now the technology is there behind the scenes stopping it being a clunky environment. It is a very modern, agile, digital environment.

“Brands are gradually waking up to that opportunity,” he said.

He also said the cinema itself is changing to adapt to the modern consumer looking for an end to end experience.

Rees went on to reveal that it is looking at how to digitise the foyer of the cinema: “We’re also looking at the architecture of the cinema and the consumer experience. Rather than having a cluttered foyer, which it might have been historically, we’re now looking at how the consumer engages throughout the whole of the cinema experience.”

So far, the rejuvenation of cinema advertising appears to be working. DCM’s brand count has increased 30 per cent over the last year and 50 per cent over the past two years.

“Technology is growing our sector,” he said.

This is the latest in The Drum’s #Hailthedrum Texi Cab interviews. Click here to view previous videos featuring the likes of broadcaster Krishnan Guru Murthy, ESI commercial director Jon O’Donnell, and CP+B founder Chuck Porter.

The 'Hail The Drum' series was produced in partnership with Hailo and Media Agency Group. The wrap for the taxi was courtesy of Media Agency Group.

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