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Why Kia thinks resurgent independent cinema can tell the story of electric cars

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By John McCarthy | Media editor

June 9, 2022 | 5 min read

Havas Media Group UK, with Havas JUMP recently bartered a year-long deal between Kia and Digital Cinema Media (DCM) to support its new ‘Movement That Inspires’ electric vehicle campaign across its indie cinema estate. The Drum catches up with them about why now was the time to go big on cinema.

Kia

Why Kia has put a big investment in the return of cinema

Earlier this year it was revealed that cinema ad investment reached 2019 levels. Havas Media Group said this marketing investment counts as part of its pursuit for “high-attention, premium environments where it can build connections with a new audience of progressive-minded individuals who seek innovation.”

How many more marketers will follow, with movies including Jurassic World Dominion, Top Gun: Maverick, Minions: The Rise of Gru and Thor: Love and Thunder among incoming crowd-pleasers?

Davina Barker, sales director at DCM, a leading UK cinema saleshouse, says cinema experienced a stellar start to the year, with “strong” audience numbers after a lengthy pandemic interruption. Admissions for the year across DCM’s estate are forecast to be 13 million, roughly around levels similar to pre-pandemic. Barker cites an “impressive film slate” as one reason.

“Many of these titles will create cultural moments and bring people together in a positive, shared way that will delight and entertain both advertisers and audiences,” says Barker.

Rob Breese, managing partner of Havas Media, Jump, brands cinema as a “critical fame channel” and adds that it delivers disproportionately high attention uplift compared to other channels. He says it was the perfect premium spot to support Kia’s new brand platform.

Sanka de Silva, marketing director of Kia UK, says that independent cinema is an inherently inspiring environment and, as such, it tends to attract the progressive audience it wants to reach with its electric vehicle range.

He says: “We want to capture the hearts and minds of modern individuals so they can see us in a different and progressive manner in line with the changes we’ve made to our brand and values over the year.”

There’s also a pricing advantage at this time due to the inflationary TV market. DCM’s Barker adds: “Cinema offers a fixed CPT for advertisers, making it an attractive AV option for brands.”

De Silva says the deal supports local independent businesses and all the jobs that rely on it following an “incredibly difficult few years.”

“It allows us to display our all-new electrified vehicles and new brand identity to a large, captive audience across the entire country at premium placements.”

The brief is to normalize electric vehicles as their uptake greatly increases and the auto industry undergoes a period of disruption.

Innocean Worldwide UK’s head of client strategy Laurence Collings, who was also involved in the deal, says that “customers are re-appraising the brands and products that they consider” and that “cinema represents the perfect medium, and delivers an uninterrupted experience to tell the Kia brand story.”

The campaign has a localized element that will direct viewers to the dealer network “at the heart of the campaign” too. The partnership also includes the Sundance Film Festival (to be held at London’s Picturehouse Central in early June).

Furthermore, more than 5,000 cinema tickets are being offered to local Kia dealerships and Kia customers.

DCM says it has seen a lot of DTC firms use cinema to complement AV campaigns; additionally, top-spending categories in cinema include entertainment and media, telecoms, finance, motors, food, travel and transport, and online retail.

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