InMobi recently partnered with the Mobile Marketing Centre of Excellence at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) on a study on Mobile and the Movies in the US. In this article, we will look at how we can interpret some of the finding for the African market. During this year, one of the largest cinema chains in Africa, Ster-Kinekor made significant strategic moves in the mobile arena by launching several mobile platforms to preview and book movies, including a BlackBerry, Android and iPhone App. The likes of Fox Theatres in Nairobi also have a good mobile presence. In the survey findings, it showed that up to 71% of consumers use a mobile device to help them pick a movie in America. We can assume that due to the low levels of Internet and TV penetration in Africa, and the high levels of Mobile penetration, that the figure is even higher in Africa. Mobile Advertising is key to launch new movies, in America the majority of the advertising is in the form of Rich Media with 83% of the respondents having seen a mobile ad for a movie, and 61% of them engaging with the ad all the way to the end in order to watch the trailer. In South Africa, over 60% of the InMobi ad requests are from Smart phones that support Rich Media, so it is possible to run similar campaigns. For the rest of Africa, Feature phones still dominate and so it would make sense to run static banner adverts. In Africa, it is easy to facilitate an immediate purchase with the many Mobile Money services available, prudent cinemas could use Mobile Advertising to sell package deals such as two for the price of one deals during quiet periods or a popcorn and movie package. On the topic of deals, 21% of respondents felt it was appropriate to use the Mobile Internet during pre-trailer ads before the movie begins in a cinema, which creates a significant cross-screen marketing opportunity for brands that already use cinema media.
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