The cinema advertising company Screenvision is launching a second-screen experience for movie theaters. Called The Limelight, it will let users browse additional content before their movie starts.

To access this pre-movie content, they will have to download a specific app, Screenfanz, which is already available for iOS, with an Android version coming within a few weeks.”

The app, which belongs to Screenvision, includes a large range of entertainment options, from practical information on movie sessions to gaming and social features. For instance, movie-goers will be able to check-in, share content through Facebook, earn points and compete for film tickets.

On paper, the concept sounds quite promising. While we wouldn’t necessarily want to get distracted during the movie itself, watching trailers and commercials doesn’t require more attention than TV viewing. This means that moviegoers may want to play with a second-screen app on their phone – as long as the content is interesting enough.

screenfanz screenvision 520x285 Second screen content, coming soon to your movie theaters
As you can imagine, this also represents a new opportunity for Screenvision’s clients to engage with the audience, the company’s CEO Travis Reid explains:

“For advertisers, it will make marketing a much more creative, cost-effective and immediate impact proposition, be they national, regional or local brands, choosing to involve consumers via mobile interactivity or long-form branded narratives. This integrated platform fuels the creation of earned media across a very socially-connected consumer group, like no other.”

More importantly, they can connect with movie-goers in a more personal and memorable way. According to the company, brands that participated in the Limelight pilot research “delivered 54% unaided ad recall with nearly half intending to purchase these brands in the next year.”

From a user’s perspective, this existing relationship with brands could also be one of Screenfanz’s main assets, as it could result in better content. Due to its position, Screenvision can control both sides of the experience without having to close new partnerships, which means that Screenfanz could be more synchronized with on-screen content than other companion apps.

However, there’s a fine line between advertising and entertainment, and Screenfanz will have to find the right balance to retain users once the curiosity fades.

➤ Screenfanz for OS