September 1st, 2021

Why Mobile Game Ads Will Boost Theater Attendance in 2021

Mobile Game Ads Theater Attendance

Cinema-starved for over a year, fans of the silver screen are eager to get back into those comfy theater seats. To help advertisers better understand what’s on entertainment consumers’ minds as theaters reopen, we surveyed 21,921 US consumers via MobileVoice® by Tapjoy. This blog post will cover the key findings from our research — and explain how entertainment marketers can make the most of the transition. We’ll reveal:

Let’s get started!

Why consumers are eager to get back in theaters

For months, movies have been almost exclusively home entertainment. But theaters are coming back, and consumers couldn’t be more excited. When asked this month, 25% of consumers said they have watched a movie in theaters since reopening, and 32% say they will within the next three months. Advertisers can expect consumer demand to grow as the pandemic winds down. 

Our research indicates that timing is one of the most critical factors in deciding whether or not to go to the movies, as 58% of consumers prefer watching a film within one to three weeks of its release. While getting in early is nice, consumers don’t always like dealing with packed theaters on premiere week. But, as 57% of audiences adore the in-theater experience, they’ll still attend in the following weeks.

Why mobile games are a high-impact exposure channel for movie releases 

The mobile channel is a convenient medium to connect consumers directly to entertainment options. Our findings show that 68% of consumers generally prefer making movie ticket purchases through mobile apps or mobile internet. For Gen Z and Millennials, that stat jumps to 74%. 

Mobile games are also a valuable channel for consumer awareness of new movies: Our research found that they are on par with social media and YouTube in reach and impact. TV ads still hold the top spot as an exposure channel for movie releases, influencing 41% of consumers who encounter the ads. YouTube, social media, and mobile gaming ads fall within a few percentage points on this metric, coming in at 34%, 33%, and 30% respectively. 

Because mobile games are less saturated than rival channels, they create a valuable opportunity for entertainment brands to increase reach and scale. This is especially true as 43% of consumers say their favorite type of entertainment ads are entertainment apps and games.

How to optimize ad creative for entertainment consumer preferences

Our research revealed numerous consumer advertising preferences that can help advertisers optimize their approach to their audience. 50% of consumers were likely to engage with user-initiated video ads, and 38% find gamified or interactive ads particularly compelling while 14% find full-screen ads that load over the content the least engaging . Finally, the rewarded model seems like a perfect pairing with entertainment ads, as 61% of consumers said they would watch a movie trailer in exchange for a virtual reward.

When it comes to TV or movie trailer length, respondents’ preferences were relatively evenly distributed. 38% of consumers liked one-minute highlight videos and30% like an ad that clicks out to a longer trailer lasting a few minutes. Ad length, it seems, is best determined by the time window that allows advertisers to create anticipation effectively. 

New to mobile game advertising? 

Consumers are eager to get back in theaters, and one of the best ways to help them get there is through an engaging mobile game ad campaign.

If you haven’t experimented with mobile game advertising yet, the data shows that now is really the perfect time to start. Because Tapjoy offers risk-free performance pricing — like our CPA model — there’s nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain. If you’re ready to add mobile games to your list of emerging channels to test, our mobile strategists can help! Get in touch to learn more or start a test.

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