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Movie theaters embrace mobile-enabled interactive ads for product sales

More than 2,200 movie theaters are enabling moviegoers to snap pictures of interactive ads in their lobbies and on the screen with their mobile phone and be redirected to shopping sites where they can shop the looks of the characters in their favorite films.  

Visual search platform Slyce has teamed with in-cinema marketing and media solutions company Screenvision to bring the experience to the theaters, including nearly 400 universities across the United States, through Screenvision?s partner theaters, such as Carmike Cinemas and Regency Theatres. By continuing the user experience outside the theater, movie studios can more closely target its consumers and deliver content to them that they are most interested in.

?For the first time, movie studios will be able to transact directly with their consumers,? said Mark Elfenbein, CEO at Slyce, Minneapolis. 

Visual stimulation
Popular films and fashion trends are closely tied. For example, women?s fashion borrowed heavily from the Hunger Games franchise during the initial pulse of the novels and film adaptations, creating trends for hair braids, tall, strappy boots and outdoor gear. 

As marketers see the potential behind fashion and accessory styles within the entertainment industry, technological advances, such as QR codes and iBeacons, provide ways to streamline a profitable opportunity to fans by connecting them directly to the clothes they admire.

When consumers see the ads in theater lobbies, they can simply take a photo of the featured product and be redirected to a purchasing option containing vendor, price and purchasing information.

Slyce?s capabilities will direct the user to an applicable retailer, which varies within each campaign.

In addition to clothing items, hotels or restaurants that may be featured in these ads can also be scanned and viewed more directly, so the ads contain multiple points of interest.

Using image recognition technology, Slyce is able to provide close or exact product matches for every inquiry. Slyce?s capabilities have also been used in home appliance settings, such as providing product information for kitchen hardware.

The ads also contain interactive content in addition to shopping capabilities, providing bonus footage and inside sneak peaks. 

Slyce serves as a white label service and places brands and retailers in the forefront. While the company partners with many different entities, their entertainment efforts only serve Screenvision?s clients.

Mobilizing entertainment
Entertainment Corporation Lionsgate has made several attempts to continue the user experience off screen with interactive content. 

This summer, broadcasting and cable company Comcast and initiated a partnership to build mobile applications for Lionsgate films, offering bonus clips and features for Comcast customers purchasing movies through Xfinity On Demand.

For starters, the team created an app for Lionsgate?s Divergent in an effort to combat a decrease in DVD sales. The collaboration shows an attempt to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for fans of the Divergent franchise and future Lionsgate films to come (see story).

Television network ABC?s reality series ?Rising Star? premiered June 22 also with a collaborative mobile application, enabling live votes and the chance for participants to be shown on screen.

A virtual wall stands behind host Josh Groban, and as votes are submitted, participants are randomly selected to appear on the wall, as their profile pictures are visible to the public. In an effort to ?raise the wall,? viewers control which contestants will advance in real time while receiving publicity (see story). 

With these types of implementations, entertainment creators can keep their concepts in the forefront of consumers? minds. Allowing direct search and purchase options for moviegoers who adore the fashion they see in films give consumers a reason to value the brand even more. 

?Entertainment brands want to be able to communicate with their consumers at any given moment,? Mr. Elfenbein said. ?As opposed to a computer, mobile allows instantaneous conversation with vendors? user base.?

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant for Mobile Marketer, New York