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Levi?s, Warner Bros. Records boost millennial appeal with in-cinema mobile activations

Levi?s and Warner Bros. Records are the first two brands to launch new in-cinema campaigns as part of a partnership between Screenvision and SoundHound to elevate the moviegoing experience via mobile.

Warner Bros. Records and Levi?s are rolling out nationwide campaigns that will run during Screenvision?s ?Front & Center? 20 minute programming before films begin. Both brands will integrate a SoundHound call-to-action into their cinema ads that encourage consumers to download the app to unlock additional content.

?Our audience is about 50 percent 12-34 year-olds, and we know that that audience is very conditioned to have their phones on while they?re in the theaters, while they?re walking to the theaters, they?re basically connected to the device,? said John McCauley, senior vice president of strategic alliances at Screenvision, New York.

?We think the best opportunity to connect advertisers to our audience is using the mobile device,? he said ?In particular, 12-34 year-olds are very difficult to reach via traditional television. 

?On television, they?re just not there in scale. We have them in bunches on the weekend, and then on behalf of our advertisers or any of our content partners, we?re trying to make sure that we put them in position to have our moviegoers, but their potential targets, walk out of the theaters with their brands.?

Screenvision was recently acquired by National CineMedia for $375 million in cash and stock. The companies combined reach 3,900 theaters, totaling 34,000 screens and 1.1 billion annual patrons. 

Mobile movies
Warner Bros. Record?s campaign promotes the musical group Nico and Vinz?s music video ?Am I Wrong,? which is incorporated into the record label?s pre-show content.

The video features the SoundHound bug logo, prompting consumers to use the SoundHound application to unlock content from Spotify. Using SoundHound during the ad pulls up a landing page where they can add the song to Spotify or view the lyrics.

Per Soundhound, the music video is within the top ten most synced songs.

Levi?s plans to incorporate SoundHound into its Screenvision to align with a television ad.

SoundHound is a free music discovery app that is available for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices.

Interstitual ads within the programming will encourage consumers to use the SoundHound app to interact with spots.

Moving beyond TV
A number of second-screen and music discovery apps are branching outside of TV by enabling advertisers to link up visual or audio content to a mobile experience.

In fact, Shazam inked a similar deal with ScreenVision last year that attracted interest from big brands including Toyota and Carnival Cruises. That partnership has now ended though, according to SoundHound.

Cineplex also recently expanded a program with the TimePlay mobile app to 725 Canadian theaters (see story). 

SoundHound is aiming to differentiate itself in this market by layering voice and search on top of audio recognition so that if a consumer does not sync an ad with the app in time, they can still access the content later.

?You?ve got a world that is so distracted by noise, and I think it?s safe to say that in-cinema might be one of the last refuges,? said Kathleen McMahon, vice president of sales and marketing at SoundHound, Santa Clara, CA. ?Maybe in-cinema and WiFi-free airplane trips are the last places where you can get mindshare.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York