Opinion: The changing face of Bollywood !

If you find Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan selling tickets at the counter of the Mumbai Locals station, don’t be amazed, this is one of the marketing gimmicks that the filmmakers of “Ghanchakkar” were employing to capture the attention of the people. With three or four movies releasing every week, only a distinct and innovative approach of promoting a movie will leave a mark in the minds of the audience, and get them to the theatres.
In today’s world, “Jo Dikhta Hai Wahi Bikta hai” (What you see, sells itself). To make a movie stand out, film makers have come up with some outstanding gimmicks to get more people into theatre seats. Shahrukh Khan came out with an “express yourself” ad during the IPL6 finals with the title track of his much awaited ‘Chennai Express’ playing at the back. The Mahurat of the remake of the super hit ‘Himmatwala’, starring Ajay Devgan, was streamed live on YouTube so as to involve the audience and generate a curiosity among them. ‘English Vinglish’, was promoted by starting a new initiative of giving free English tutorials on the phone. For movie ‘Aurangzeb’, Arjun Kapoor promoted his film in a double role – Arjun interviewing Arjun on news channels.

‘If the content is king, then expression is queen’
Having just an Oscar winning script would not make your film rake in moolah, but the ability to attract the right audience to your door, surely will. It’s true that the film promotions would just fetch the audiences but content would take it further. But when you display your creative work, you need people to appreciate it, with the same enthusiasm as you created that work. So, promoting the film so that it reaches each and every corner becomes crucial.
Nowadays, film-makers are not limited to hoardings, trailers and posters. They are using different mediums to develop marketing strategies for their films and they know how to seize the moment and make best use of it to promote their films.
Film makers go for Film Merchandising. Movie centric products create an association with the audiences. Movies that relied heavily on merchandising were ‘Hum Tum’ and ‘Krrish’. The two famous cartoons were found on everything: cups, bags, key chains, bed sheets. Children could buy Krrish masks, dolls, coloring books, watches, school bags and T-shirts. Filmmakers are doing Smart Marketing with the Smart Phones. Smart phones have become the companion of the consumers, and are practically the only tool which is with them every minute. Games, Wallpapers, Ringtones immediately connect with the audiences and films like Ra one and Kkrish have fully utilized it.
Film Industry is Going Digital. Bollywood is using Social Media extensively. Actors, producers, writers – everyone is mobbing to virtual venues like Twitter, Facebook, Orkut and Blogging sites ,they have a huge fan following so whatever they write, recommend, suggest has huge implications on the mind of the fans. Teasers, trailers ,songs uploaded on YouTube or social networking site creates a buzz about the movie in the minds of curious and surprise loving Indian audiences. People now tweet & update about the movies right from the movie halls expressing their opinion about the movies. 
‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ brought out an official Facebook page containing an interesting application called ‘My Badtameez Dil Wants’, based on the superhit song. The makers of ‘Barfi’ opted for YouTube as the network for creating the online buzz. Filmakers are using Embedded Marketing Techniques to advertise their cinemas. The movie ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’, associated itself with some elite brands such as Discovery, Intel, Western Union, Wildcraft, Royal Enfield and Pond’s to enhance visibility and appeal of its film so as to hit the audience and attract it towards the film. The makers of ‘3 idiots’ entered into an association with Reliance Life Insurance which would promote its services using the famous tagline of the film “All Is Well”. Film makers are also experimenting with Funky Titles, which speak about the genre and feel of the film. ‘Money hai Toh Honey hai’, ‘Ugly Aur Pagli’ are some of the unique titles which generate curiosity and excitement in the minds of the people.  Today, the success formula for breaking all the records at the box office is: Great movie with Great marketing plan. The producers are leaving no stone unturned to achieve this Great Mix.
‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ came out with a new way to hit the target by distributing Wasseypur patrika and graffitis of movie dialogues. For ‘Dirty Picture’, Vidya Balan shot for the cover of the Hindi magazine Manohar Kahaniya because it would sell the film better in B and C-tier towns. The strategy was successful in creating a lot of buzz.
Now, the demands of the audiences have grown, it’s not like it used to be ten-twenty years ago. They are looking for newness and some kind of freshness. They want everything better, it’s human nature. Also the buying power has increased; they are now well informed. They prefer reading reviews and blogs before they make their mind to go out and shell their hard earned money. So, winning an audience becomes a difficult task.
A movie now no longer conveys the message to the audience unless it is presented in an innovative fashion. So, it’s not just about the movie promotion, but promotion in a unique way!  
[The article has been written by Anushree Jaiswal. She is presently pursuing her PGDM from BIMTECH, Noida. ]

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