Mobiquity Brings Beacons to the Movies — And Consumer Data to Hollywood

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Beacons may be coming soon to a theater near you, as a result of a new partnership between shopping mall‐based beacon advertising network Mobiquity Networks and cinema advertising company Screenvision.

Mobiquity Networks will be installing beacons in 300 of the theater complexes with which Screenvision is partnered. The beacons are intended to help further engage consumers with the brands that are serving up pre-roll ads on the silver screen by pushing that brand’s mobile ads to moviegoers after they’ve left  the theater.

Screenvision advertisers will have the option of sending mobile ads, triggered by the beacons, to consumers when they’re in the lobby of the theater, as well as when they are in one of the more than 475 shopping malls where Mobiquity’s beacons are installed.

“When the moviegoer leaves the theater they could get a beacon reminder [on their phone] in the lobby. Aand then, should their journeys extend to the mall, they could get [the brand’s message] reinforced there,” John McCauley, EVP of Screenvision told Street Fight.

“By taking our capabilities into the theater, we can understand where the moviegoer is going in market, and when they’re attending movies,” said Jim Meckley, CMO, Mobiquity Networks. “This provides an opportunity to deliver advertisements in theater lobbies, near the theater screens, and what is probably most important: to start developing anonymous personas of the mobile app users.”

Ideally, advertisers can not only extend the life of their pre-roll cinema ad (by delivering a mobile ad in a mall where they have a location) but also gain a deeper understanding of the consumer’s behavior.

“The types of movies people see is a great indicator of demographic,” said Meckley. “By accessing that business intelligence, and by being able to put together disparate pieces of data, we learn something about that person. When we see that same device in a retail environment, we can overlay that intelligence about that user to help inform what types of content should be displayed to that user in that environment.”

Advertisers can connect the dots between what film a particular moviegoer goes to see and where that same moviegoer goes to shop, provided it taps one of Mobiquity’s mall-based beacons.

But how can any of this show that a consumer is actually buying a product? Exactly where attribution stands in all of this is still fuzzy.

“There’s a lot of work to be done,” said McCauley. “I would say we’re at the early stages to figure out better ways to prove attribution. It’s humble beginnings on our side,” said McCauley.

While there may be a ways to go for the advertisers to sort out exactly how well this system works, the offering holds clearer value for movie studios, who can potentially see whether their in-mall ad drove a movie ticket purchase.

“A lot of movie studio advertising happens in the mall,” said McCauley.

Movie studios can deliver mobile ad campaigns for movies to users based on their location and can see if tickets were bought on that mobile device.

“Studios can directly attribute lift in theater visits, even if [consumers] didn’t use an app to buy the ticket,” said Meckley. “This real-world attribution for digital campaigns is something studios are most interested in.”

There’s already a tie between malls and the movies. Not only do some malls offer movie theaters, but also “22 percent of moviegoers go to the mall before and after the movie,” Meckley said. “There is a large correlation in demographics between mall-goer and moviegoer … 2,284 movie theaters within ten miles of our malls.”

As such, syncing the establishments up using location-based technology like beacons makes sense.

Meckley and McCauley declined to disclose details on which theaters will be installing the beacons, but said that the technology will start to roll out in the next two weeks. A number of third party apps will be involved in identifying the beacons. Meckley confirmed that is among them, but declined to release any other names.

Nicole Spector is a contributor to Street Fight.