A major medium and outlet for marketing programmes. Advertising is an obvious beneficiary of cinema. The advantages of using advertising through cinema are that the audience, although relatively small compared to a television audience, is captive and has a higher attention span. The size of the screen and the audio quality can have a memorable impact on the audience. Often, the type of movie being shown enables the advertiser to target the messages and the ad to the audience. Advertising can be customized to either regional or local culture in the local cinema area in which the movie is being shown. The cinema can also be an advertising location for the company that owns the cinema, such as Warner Brothers.
Increasingly, as product merchandising (such as T-shirts, dolls, computer games and derivatives) is becoming an important element in the total marketing of a movie, the cinema can often act as a retail outlet for merchandised goods. Increasing percentages of the total budget of a movie are being spent on advertising. In the last few years, websites have become part of the marketing mix for the promotion of new films by movie companies. Major films these days reach the local cinema with a website promoting the film concurrently. It is a much less expensive promotional technique than traditional media. The cost of creating these websites is a fraction of the cost of a full TV or radio advertising campaign. There is a high correlation between Internet users and moviegoers, making websites a targeted and cost-effective medium for creating awareness for their films. Unlike a traditional promotion, a website can continue to generate awareness over a sustained period. Movie websites are not only building awareness for a movie before and during the cinema distribution, they continue to promote once the mass media advertisements have stopped running and the movies have moved on to ancillary markets. In addition to generating buzz and hype, film websites can also engage the viewer and enhance the experience. These communities are where visitors can find more information, take part in interactive activities, subscribe to newsletters, and chat with other like-minded individuals, with the eventual aim of creating greater audience loyalty. See media.