UFO operates India’s largest satellite-based, digital cinema distribution network using its UFO-M4 platform, as well as India’s largest D-Cinema network. UFO Moviez has transformed the way films are distributed and exhibited in India, making first day first shows possible across geographies, and growing the market for producers, distributors and theatre-owners alike.
UFO Moviez is a pioneer that has led the country in the digitization of cinema through it’s innovative satellite technology. India’s largest digital cinema network today, UFO Moviez also is the largest in-cinema advertising platform. UFO has created a pan India, high impact in-cinema advertising platform with long-term advertising rights to 3,800+ screens, with an aggregate seating capacity of approximately 1.71 million viewers per show and a reach of 1,350 cities and towns across India. UFO Moviez with its vast network reaches a large portion of the urban audience which comprises of the younger TG 15-35yr old individuals which are the core TG segment for most brands. The audience in the cinema screens are in captive environments and brands get their undivided attention. Cinema impacts social and cultural transition in society and UFO Moviez; has been an enabler to this transition. Cinema positively drives brand love, brand consideration and brand differentiation. Hence it is undoubtedly one of the most preferred mediums of delivering impactful advertising campaigns by Creative Directors, CEOs, Media Buying Agencies, Brand Managers and Influencers. The company, that made First Day First Show phenomena possible has been leading innovations in the industry ever since. Apart from the UFO Moviez platform, the company also has introduced a unique mobile van cinema viewing platform called Caravan Talkies wherein sundown non-ticketed shows are played. When consumers can’t come to cinema screens, UFO takes the cinema screen to the consumers. It empowers brands to engage with the rural audience most of which reside in media dark areas. A rural centric, free of charge, movie viewing platform, Caravan Talkies has 114 vans and has conducted rural activations and screenings in 7000+ villages across India.
Speaking to TVNews4U, Siddharth Bhardwaj, Chief Marketing Officer – Head of Enterprise Sales, UFO Moviez, on the emerging OTT players in India and new threat for theatres, he said that the impact had been more towards the Television but not in traditional theatres. “If you notice, in recent times, Bollywood had 28-top performing movies. This shows that traditional theatres are to stay not just in India, but globally this is the trends. Of course, last two years, when the OTT players were emerging big time, there were some confusions amongst us. However, we realized that a mobile application cannot replace a cinema experience”, he said. According to him, there are more than 35 OTT players in India and some regional players.
Asked if brands take cinema advertising seriously considering the mindset of the audience is casual, he said, “Theatre is the best place one can get the audience attention completely. Some of the instances, I could tell, in a Television, one can skip the channel and in an advertisement in a video streaming application, one can skip the video. However, in the theatre, you need to face the large screen. Whatever appears there, you have to consume it”, Siddharth said. According to him, theatres providing a larger screen, the engagement of brands are high in theatres.
Speaking about the time of allotting for advertisements and audience spending time inside the theatres, he said, “We are careful in engaging the audience. We provide slots before the movie starts and during the intervals. Other than some select places where a theatre’s lounges and other infrastructure are of the state-of-the-art, most of the audiences are inside the movie hall. We had also commissioned a study which had given us insights that more than 80% of the audiences are in the hall for 10 minutes of the intervals.”
Responding for the question, the dominance of only regional brands in theatres as a medium, he said, “I agree to an extent. However, considering the reach of UFO, a brand with a national presence can definitely reach out to us. Also, another advantage, theatre as a medium is, the brands can decide on the reach based on the geographical coverage. For example, if a brand wants to grow their brand only in Mumbai, in Television, they have to either reach out to a state-level medium or the national channels. However, in theatres, they can decide whether the target is only Mumbai or Maharashtra or West region etc.”, he concluded.
According to him, any brands that go well with sports, movie channels and news channels can advertise in theatre ads.