The importance of marketing a movie or getting the distribution right isn’t really a new found for the Indian movie industry. However, while only some players, largely the bigger banners, have understood the importance of these sectors, even between them, the success formulae is different and as yet, evolving.
The two aspects were brought under the scanner to get a global perspective on these functions. One of the key points that comes in the session is that where marketing begins right from naming the movie and then ensuring the right TG watches the movie, new age tools like in-movie product placement and co-promotion are gaining pace in India as well.
What role does distribution play? Andrew Heffernan, Group CFO, Eros International puts it simply, “Chances of a bad movie with good marketing and great distribution being successful, is more than that of a good movie with poor marketing and distribution.”
Heffernan explained that with new technologies, modes of distribution too have to evolve. “Even something like a YouTube can make a difference. If you have used the medium and what it offers well enough, you have created a good chance to create a runaway success or a very popular movie,” he elaborated. He enumerated film festivals, online platforms and publicity also as mediums that have to be capitalised on for giving a movie the right presence in its TG. He said, “When you take on the responsibility to distribute, you have to ensure that you are maximising profits for the movie and you have to take all routes necessary for that.”
The technological aspect was also brought in by Bobby Srinivasan of Roamware. He explained, “With mobile literally becoming a fourth screen and the web mediums picking up, you really need to know how to constantly do something different for a movie. New technologies have led to a paradigm shift that cannot be ignored and really is an opportunity.”
Throwing more light on the marketing side of the movie business, Kaleidoscope’s Bobby Bedi said, “You have to be sure that your marketing is not just attracting attention but the right kind of attention. If you have the wrong people watching the movie in the first week, you may get the opening numbers but after that, really it is a downfall because of the negative word of mouth that a wrong TG can create.”
Naming of the movie and the images used in promos both are some of the first steps of right marketing and Bedi explained this point through examples like ‘Saathiya’. The next step is finding the ‘star’ of the movie. “The star can be an actor, the theme of the movie, the subject, the music --- it can be anything,” said Bedi.
He also spoke on the importance on getting the right press and for something that is associated with the movie and not for the movie itself. Another point that P9’s Navin Shah had brought in the picture was content branding. Giving the example of ‘Krrissh’, he explained that the movie became a Rs 500 crore brand by associations with different brands and co-promotion of the movie. He explained that some steps have to be taken right in the beginning of the movie, to make a successful brand by associations with other brands. “In the case of Krrissh, of course, they went the extra mile by even creating merchandising,” observed Shah.
The moderator of the session Manmohan Shetty, Chairman, Adlabs, put everything in a nutshell stating, “Marketing and distribution are becoming fundamental pillars, but if you don’t have the content right, you are really not going anywhere.”