When I went to see Nicolas Cage in National Treasure: Book of Secrets over the weekend, I found myself stuck in a half-hour of previews and a Disney short before the movie even started, not to mention advertisements for local businesses before the previews began. The 9:30 p.m. showing of the movie itself didn't get underway until 10 p.m. Having paid $10.50 for my ticket, I thought it unfair of the theater to subject me to what are essentially advertisements for a full 25 percent of the film's running time. Why should consumers pay to see ads, which are designed only to make us spend more money?
It turns out I'm not the only one irked by the practice. Other bloggers have expressed similar frustrations. And we're likely to find ourselves sitting through even more commercials in 2008. The Cinema Advertising Council reports that advertising in movie theaters is experiencing double-digit growth each year, partly because research suggests it is one of the best ways to reach young and affluent consumers.
The industry's research also suggests that most people aren't bothered by movie theater advertisements. In one study, 63 percent of moviegoers said they did not mind advertising before the movie begins, although that percentage declined with age. By age 50 and over, only half of the survey participants said they did not mind the ads.
Readers, do you mind watching advertisements before movies? Do you think it's fair for theaters to broadcast commercials to paying customers?