Moviebill, the augmented-reality-driven print/digital program dubbed “connected print” by its creators, has made two key hires ahead of its 2018 launch in Regal theaters. Former National CineMedia digital exec Ian Owen-Ward is joining the company as EVP Brand Partnerships, with AR vet Patrick Aluise becoming SVP Digital Content.

“Ian knows what resonates with brands, specifically within the theater industry,” said James Andrew Felts, a principal at Moviebill parent Concourse Media. “We are excited to see Ian bring this new platform to brands, presenting an entirely new way to appeal to moviegoers.”

Prior to Moviebill, Owen-Ward spent more than seven years heading up digital for in-theater ad firm NCM, helping the company increase digital revenue by 50% in 2016.

“Moviebill has a unique platform with a guaranteed audience that mixes print, digital and augmented reality that will reach consumers in a very impactful way,” Ward said.

Aluise, formerly of Trigger Global and AR platform Blippar, will manage all digital activations across Moviebill’s entire client base.

“No one understands how to harness the power of AR for brands quite like Patrick,” said Concourse principal Matthew Shreder. “We look forward to seeing how he leads his creativity to make brands shine within Moviebill.”

Along with their partnership with Regal, the No. 2 U.S. exhibitor, which is in merger talks with the UK’s Cineworld, Moviebill will offer various cinema-related mobile, digital and AR experiences to brands.

With a seven-figure circulation commitment per edition, Moviebill plans an ad-to-content ratio of 70-30.

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