I will soon be completing my two years living in this great city of Mumbai. The home of Bollywood, glamour, and all things filmy!  Being a big movie buff and a management student, I have always taken a keen interest in movies coming up in the theatres and how are they being publicized, promoted and advertised in and around the city where almost everything reeks of Bollywood. So let’s walk you through some of the things I have seen and experienced.
Billboards have always been the most popular way to grab attention. Towards the end of the last year, I woke up every morning to a cop-dressed goggle-eyed moustached Salman Khan staring at me from the big billboard right out there on the main road across my window, telling me to go and watch the sequel to his previous blockbuster film. Even though I haven’t watched it yet, looking at the box office numbers it raked up, I’m sure plenty of Indians have. The number of billboards in Mumbai which are specifically for film promotions, Bollywood and Hollywood both, were much more than what I had seen in any other city in the nation. Had to be I guess- this is the home of Bollywood. Starting from larger-than-life billboards to the smaller back-lit ones at the streetlight poles on the roads, it’s all around within punching distance of each other. 

A recent Times Square like- innovation which I came across at the crossing in the up-market Juhu area is a video billboard – a giant digital screen which showed video trailers of the latest movies and other advertisements. A stylish and efficient way to showcase the different upcoming films I must say – especially to the people stuck in traffic (and trust me, traffic jams are quite an occurrence in the streets of Mumbai).
Let’s come to buses. The big red BEST buses of Mumbai. Often, I have failed to notice the bus number because I have been taken in more by the posters running across the entire body of the bus.  The posters have Sanjay Dutt brandishing a pistol and pointing it at Arshad Warsi or Shahid Kapoor flashing a smile and trying to woo Priyanka Chopra – making the people out there travelling or standing on the streets aware of the latest movies in tinsel town and when they are going to hit the screens . This, to me, is an excellent way to advertise. Let’s say the bus starts from Goregaon and goes upto Worli, traversing the length of the city and areas in between –  thus, unlike a billboard , it is not fixed to one location but on the move, catching the eyes and reaching out to a large number of people in different parts of the city everyday .  The local trains are no exception and have also become such a medium of advertising.
Outdoor promotional campaigns done by the film houses with their star-cast are pretty common for the big-budget films.  Malls, colleges and other public events are popular spots to do so. I happen to be studying on one of those campuses in Mumbai which are often frequented by movie stars and directors to promote their latest films. The young hip crowd present here, build up in large numbers amidst the euphoria of coming within ‘touching’ distance of their favorite movie stars. 
This may not be exactly promotional, but I came across an interesting technological innovation at one of the multiplexes in the city. Just outside their ticket counters, there were three 42” television-sized touch screen panels which showed the different movies that were being screened along with their timings and the best part was: you can click on the movies, know a brief storyline about it, their cast and you can also watch the trailers. A nice way to decide which movie you should watch or just skip! 
Well, movies and their promotional techniques are constantly evolving and with the advancement in technology, it is only going to get bigger and better.  I only wish the billboard across my window puts up my favorite actresses flashing beautiful smiles , I’m tired of seeing brawny actors looking menacingly at me !   

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