Movie Promoters Go Mobile to Reach African-Americans

In the past few years, researchers have discovered that emerging majorities such as Hispanics and African-​Americans are heavy users of smartphones. Now, there’s a new study that shows the importance of the African-​American demographic to movie marketers. As a result, mobile marketing programs promoting upcoming box office releases may prove to be an effective channel to reach this audience.

African-​Americans in the U.S. comprise a significant percentage of the movie-​going population with some enjoying the experience so much they see the same films more than once. Members of this demographic group that go to the movies have the following characteristics:

  • 39% are between the ages of 16–24
  • 30% have college degrees
  • 35% have annual incomes of over $50,000
  • 52% are employed, at least part-time

In addition, of the population that goes to the movies more than 3 times a month, 49% are between the ages of 18 and 24.

All movie-​going African-​Americans are using their mobile phones in the following ways to access movie information:

  • Times/​location 69%
  • View trailers 35%
  • Get reviews 34%
  • Discover movies 28%
  • Buy tickets 1%
  • Share opinions 9%

Overall, 68% of African Americans turn to their mobile phones to get more information about movies. For those who are 35–44 years old, that percentage stands at 75%.

This population is more highly influenced by mobile ads, 41%, than Hispanics (40%) and the general population (31%). And, of these ads, mobile search (45%) and mobile banner (30%) have the most influence. In addition, about 70% of all African Americans use their phones within 8 hours of seeing a movie. This number suggests that deciding which move to see might be a last minute decision for many of these consumers. The opportunity to reach them with mobile campaigns timed shortly before movies begin is significant.

[Source: African Americans, Movies & Mobile. Briablemobile​.com. 2012. Web. 26 Mar. 2012]


Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.