FAQ: Completed Ads

When advertising “On-Screen” during the Noovie pre-show, you have the option of providing an Externally Produced Ad (a.k.a. “Completed Ad”) or using NCM’s Internal Production team.

This page focuses on Externally Produced / Completed Ads.


Contact us  to get started and connect with a Regional Account Director.

In addition to On-Screen advertising, there are other ways to advertise - contact your Regional Account Director for more information.

NCM requires your “Completed Ad” to be a VIDEO file/tape with motion graphics and/or live action video per NCM specifications.* NCM will not allow “Static” ads as seen on older “slide show” presentations from years past. All ads must contain at least some subtle motion and audio throughout the ad.
This is a good solution if you have an existing TV commercial or other finished video which fits within 15-30 seconds or longer.
As of January 2013, contracts for 35mm slides (in Non-Digital theatres) are no longer available.
*If you do not have access to video production equipment, software or staff, you may want to consider using NCM’s Internal Production services where a Producer will work with you to gather information and assets to build an ad for you. Please review the information HERE and contact your Account Director for more information.

The list of creative deadlines are located at the bottom of
Completed ads require a minimum of 10 business days to process, review and be scheduled for playback on the big screen.
Any ads/media which require tweaking, editing or any sort of Creative Services must be facilitated by an NCM Producer and may require more time. Each job will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Deliver your ad using Aspera FASPEXTM Digital Delivery  or by shipping on physical media as noted here.

NCM has strict specifications in place to guarantee a high quality show… and as such sometimes editors will attempt to convert existing media which may lead to undesirable issues including tearing, noise, interlacing and more.
Please review the REGIONAL SPEC  for more information so these issues can be avoided.
Q: Should I send an SD (Standard Definition) ad or try converting to HD first?
A: Please send us your original ad – our professional video editors have the experience, software and hardware which will yield the best possible results for our show. With that said, some files simply will not pass because of quality and/or content issues and you will be notified.
Q: I have a video file which is NOT to spec… can I convert it using a video editor to meet your specs?
A: Possibly. The question is best answered by knowing the size, quality and format of the original video. If starting with a low-resolution or low-quality video and scaling it to look larger the result may pass our initial Spec Check but later be flagged or rejected during the QC process. The best solution is to go back to the original SOURCE file(s) and re-render the video file(s) to meet NCM specs.
Q: I have a TV commercial… can I send that to NCM to play on the BIG Screen?
A: Yes… as long as you possess the proper rights and it meets NCM specs for quality or content. If creating a new ad, we strongly recommend sending the NCM Spec Sheet onto the video production studio / editor to render the ads from the source file(s) for the best results possible.
Q: Do I need to include bars/tones/slates?
A: It depends on your media...
    > Digital files DO NOT require color bars, slates, additional black, tones or 2-pop. However, if submitting more than one ad, a Title Slate for each ad/piece of media is very helpful.
    > Tapes MUST contain :30 of color bars before spots play, 1kHz tone, 2-POP sync point, spot slate, and :02 of video black before & after each spot.
Q: Does my ad need audio?
A: YES. All ads that play On-Screen must have audio per NCM specs. Audio includes either music, Voice Over or a combination of both. You must possess the proper permission/rights to use copyrighted music. If not provided, your ad will be flagged/rejected.
> If your ad DOES NOT contain audio, NCM will add stock, royalty-free background music.
> If you have ANY special requests for “Audio Engineering” or addition of a Voice-Over, the job will need to facilitated by a Producer within the NCM Creative Services team. The turn-around time will increase to 20 Business Days and additional fees will be incurred.

Q: Can I provide separate audio files/tracks?
A: YES, as long as you clearly identify the audio tracks as such and meet NCM Specs. When providing separate audio a 2-pop video sync point is required.
Q: My ad was flagged/rejected… now what?
A: Carefully read the email notification for an explanation – the specific reason for flag / rejection and the solution should be noted. Any of these conditions may lead to start date delays:

> Spec Check Rejection: Your media does not meet NCM minimum requirements. New media is required.
> Yellow Flag: A warning - your ad will look less than ideal, but will be allowed to play. If you wish to resubmit different media please take immediate action and contact your Account Director for next steps.
> Red Flag: The NCM Post Production process is stopped and cannot continue without additional information or clarification. Immediate action is required and should contact your Account Director with a resolution.
> Black Flag: The NCM editor has reviewed your ad and rejected your media due to quality or content which cannot be fixed – new media must be provided. Immediate action is required and should contact your Account Director with a resolution.


Simplicity is the key to an effective ad.

Promote no more than 3 services or items per ad – focus on 1 point.

Carefully consider the order of information being presented...
     > Visual / Graphic Elements:
          - Allow the audience to visually "focus" on a specific area/zone.
          - If showing full-screen images, show no more than 1 photo per 5-seconds of ad.
          - Use a good contrast of colors - dark backgrounds with light text is recommended.
     > On-Screen Text (a.k.a. Ad Copy): short, bite-sized chunks of information.
     > Voice Over Script: Conversational and used to reinforce On-Screen Text, but does not need to be the same. 
     > The "mood" of your ad is directly related to the speed of the info/graphics/VO...
         - A "High Energy" ad will have several quick-cuts between visual elements, and a fast VO.
         - A "Soothing" ad will have slow transitions and a short VO, spoken slowly.
         - An "Informational" ad will often include pauses between key points... thus a short VO.

Include a “Call to Action”
     - Consider who the audience is that you are attempting to target.
     - Tell the audience to do something.
     - If including an OFFER, make it compelling!
          - Use the word "FREE"
          - Avoid low "percentage" offers
          - Avoid any offer that imposes any difficulty on the consumer
     - Promote your website to get detailed information to long to list in a brief ad.
     - Promote your location by intersection or landmark, NOT a physical address.
     - Promote your phone # ONLY if it’s VERY simple and easy to remember.

     - IMPORTANT: Any Call to Action must comply with our Regional Content Guidelines. For more information, please refer to the last page of our Regional Spec Sheet.