Movie Studios Are Betting on Beauty to Bring African-American Consumers to the Box Office

Urban salon advertising proves incredibly effective at building hype and driving ticket sales.

Marketing films to any audience requires a fine-tuned marketing strategy that must be executed in a small window of time to build as much anticipation as possible. Marketing films to the African-American community is an even more unique challenge, given that this demographic is more likely to base entertainment decisions on recommendations from family and friends than on movie trailers or advertising alone.

But reaching the African-American audience is worth it. On average, African-Americans go to the movies more than two times per month and a minimum of 28 times a year, and 62% of Black moviegoers say they go to see movies they like multiple times, accounting for millions of additional ticket sales. (Bet)

Movie studios that recognize the value of black audiences are getting extremely creative about engaging them. Urban salon advertising is one of the more unique tactics that they are using, because it is a win-win for both the movie studios and African-American audiences for whom experiential, lifestyle marketing feels more authentic.

Benefits of Urban Salon Advertising

Statistics show African-Americans tend to have stronger ties to their communities and take greater pride in their culture than the general American population. In fact, 7 in 10 African-Americans say their ethnicity is a significant part of their identity compared to less than half while just 48% of other ethnicities. Cultural pride plays a significant role in African-American purchasing decisions, and their entertainment choices are no exception. Black audiences of all ages and incomes respond more positively to marketing that highlights their ethnicity and takes their culture into account. (source)

Weekly visits to the beauty salon or barbershop have been a cornerstone of black culture since the 1800’s, and they serve as more than a place to go for grooming: Urban salons and barber shops are meeting places where black men and women go to recharge, socialize and connect with what’s happening in their communities.

What does all this have to do with movie marketing? If you want to reach an audience that racks up nearly $3.1 billion annually in leisure-time spending, it means a lot. Major movie studios that invest in experiential marketing campaigns and brand activations in urban salons are seeing huge returns by engaging African-American consumers in a space and time when they are already discussing what’s new and what’s next.

Add to that the fact that urban salon and barbershop owners often have hundreds of thousands of social media followers, and you can see why movie studios are competing for space in their stores. If you’re marketing a global brand or movie studio and are wondering how to reach this valuable demographic, it’s time to take a serious look at incorporating beauty into your marketing plan, too.

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