Fantastic Media Innovation – In Theatres Now!

On the weekend I took the kids to see Fantastic Mr Fox. What a wonderful film! It would have to be one of the best ‘kids’ films I’ve seen – quirky, unique, non-stop entertainment underpinned by George Clooney’s brilliance! (Not the point of the story but I thought you should know).

The movie theatre was three quarters full of predominantly Dads with their kids and we all sat through the ads and trailers waiting for the film to begin. Not usually a hotbed of media innovation, the average movie pre-amble is a fairly straight forward affair: first the cheap ads, then the expensive ads, a few movie trailers, a Village or Hoyts plug, lights down and off we go.

On this occasion however we were all shaken out of our comfy daze by a unique and engaging piece of cinema advertising.

One of the expensive ads we saw during the pre-amble was a Federal Govt Spot featuring a melanoma surgeon removing a dangerous mole from a 22 year old girl’s back.


Fairly graphic stuff that had my 8 year old daughter’s hands over her face and my 4 year old boy’s eyes glued to the screen! The message was clear: protect yourself five ways in the sun and you can avoid ending up in his theatre.

A few more ads, a few trailers and just as we thought the movie would begin, the house lights went on, the curtain came down and a male voice began talking about the ad we saw a few minutes ago…. “Hey, that ad to do with skin cancer … was pretty nasty. Did he say 400,000 Australians are diagnosed each year with skin cancer? That’s like 2,000 cinemas like this full of people! They reckon that even short periods of time in the sun unprotected – like the length of the movie we’re about to show – could cause irreversible damage to your skin. So I guess the doctor was right …”

I looked around a saw that most people were listening intently, some nudging each other or simply sitting with puzzled expressions on their face. At the conclusion of this audio-only piece the room went black, the curtain went up and the movie promptly began.

A clever, unexpected piece of cinema advertising and an effective part of the government’s marketing communications mix executed well by the teams at UM and Val Morgan. We certainly took the government’s advice that afternoon at the local pool!

Do you notice the ads in the cinema? How effective do you think they are?

copyright FRANk Media 2018