Last weekend I ended up at a cinema with my friends. At that moment I had a realisation that almost every mall in Indonesia, especially in Jakarta, had a cinema in it.

I did some quick research and found out that as of 2017, there are approximately 236 Cinemas in Indonesia, with a total of 1274 Screens. While it might look like a big amount on paper, they pale in comparison to China. Although companies in China have been subsidising movie tickets to acquire customers, as of 2017, there are 9504 cinemas with 50800 screens in China.

But these numbers will keep growing. CGV, one of the popular cinemas in Indonesia said they will add 100 Screens on 2018 alone. Cinemaxx plans to build 2000 screens, scattered across 85 cities in Indonesia by 2024.

Target market

In Indonesia, young people frequent the cinemas. Approximately a total of 42.7 million tickets were sold last year. Cinemas are one of the “must go” destinations for teenagers and young adults when they visit shopping malls with their peers.

So how effective can cinemas be as a customer acquisition channel?

Unlike online marketing, which often feels like throwing money into a black hole because of untargeted advertising, Cinemas have more targeted customers – teenagers and young adult. While television demographics can be flighty and often difficult to pin down with precision, movie audiences are generally easy to determine.

Compared to conventional offline marketing like billboards, chances of the audience noticing your ad is much higher. There is a large screen in front of the audience and no way to change the channel. Visual ads and large screen makes the ad memorable & impactful.

Compared to tv marketing, cinema advertisements can also take different approach and allow ad creators to take risks that conventional television spots don’t allow. This can happen because of their longer time frame. A study for Digital Cinema Media (DCM), tested ad campaigns running in cinema and television at the same time with a sample of 1,200 people. The research suggested that the ads shown in cinema screens were eight times more effective at making a brand stand out than television. Cinema audiences were four times more likely to be emotionally engaged than a television audience.

Weakness of Cinema Ads

Regardless of the advantage that cinema ad has compared to other channels, we have to admit that the timing and length of featured advertisements that are shown prior to films is predictable by audiences and easily avoidable. Their research indicates a significant number of audience members stay outside the theater for the duration of ads, including those purchasing refreshments or arriving late.


Even though there are a lot of alternative options to watch movies these days, there are still a number of people who come to cinemas, especially young adults. This makes targeted marketing more effective because movie audiences are easy to determine. In the coming years, the number of cinemas will keep increasing, and reach more audience than before. However, Despite its alluring benefits compared to other marketing channels, people can easily avoid cinema ads if they want to, making it potentially ineffective in the long run. Apart from ads, businesses can also think of other creative ways to tap into this huge market potential.

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].