Media Media Planning and Buying

Cinema makes advertiser play by flouting its high attention times

By John Glenday | Reporter

July 7, 2022 | 4 min read

Digital Cinema Media (DCM), the advertising company for Cineworld, Odeon and Vue, has blown its own trumpet by categorizing the big screen as a key attention leader as part of its latest research.


DCM has released a report in collaboration with Lumen Research

The quantifies the attention levels of cinemagoers (who watch 24 seconds of an ad on average); far more than the 14 seconds dedicated to a TV ad, a paltry four seconds devoted to unskippable YouTube ads and a fleeting two-second glance aimed loosely in the direction of in-feed Facebook ads. It serves as a timely reminder of the different capabilities of select media.

Cinemas have long provided a captive audience for advertisers, with strict no mobile and no talking rules on audiences who pay to sit in a blackened room with all attention focused on the full-field screen and bombastic soundstage. It should come as no surprise that cinematic ads, delivered in high fidelity with few distractions, deliver for brands – if cinemas can indeed get viewers in the door.

Compiled in collaboration with Lumen Research, the ‘Centre of Attention’ report points out that the chances of recall and message absorption are exponentially greater for every additional second of attention you can grab.

Mike Follett, managing director, Lumen Research, said: “When you use the common currency of attention across media, you can really understand the power of the biggest screen.”

DCM chief executive officer Karen Stacey added: “Audiences are receptive to quality content in the right context, and this study shows the valuable role cinema can play for brands, providing further compelling evidence that putting your ads where they will be the center of attention – not somewhere they’re waiting to be skipped or scrolled past – will deliver real value and leave a lasting impact.”

Separate surveys conducted by Differentology over the past six years suggest that ad awareness (17%); brand perception (19%); consideration (16%); and intention to act (23%) are all greatest in cinemas.

An earlier DCM study found that cinema spend had almost reached 2019 levels as ‘almost every advertiser’ returned to the fold.

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