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PROMAX&BDA 2005: Reality or movies - marketing matters

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PROMAX&BDA 2005: Reality or movies - marketing matters

The Promax&BDA India Conference 2005 sure had earned the interest of many industry professionals and the results were obvious in the afternoon sessions of the event. The second half of the day was consumed with experts throwing more light on importance of marketing for reality genre and Indian motion films. The PSA Challenge and SET Student promo challenge led to the end of day one.

Tarun Katial, EVP and Business Head, Sony Entertainment Television began the second half of the day, taking the audience through the ‘Indian Idol’ case study and the efforts that the channel put in communicating each stage of the show to the audience, that consequently gave the channel, the results it was looking for.

“It is right content, backed by strategic communication and state of the art channel presentation,” Katial said. He explained that the channel ensured on-air and off-air synchrony, taking the audience right from the teaser, auditioning to the tune-ins and final voting stages.

“The channel saw an increase in eyeballs, a sustained increase in the slot delivery and in effect proved to be a differentiated and successful show,” concluded Katial.

Taking the stage from Katial, was Ronnie Screwvala, CEO, UTV who delved on the evolution of movie marketing in India, giving examples of where good marketing has converted average movies into successes.

Screwvala presented a comparison of the movie marketing picture a few years back to its present state. Giving an indication of the catching up that the Indian scene has to still do, he said, “In markets like US, motion picture marketing is one of the top five spending categories, where in India, it wouldn’t even feature in the top hundred category spenders. While internationally, marketing take anywhere between 30 to 50 per cent of the overall budget, in India, it is still in 5 to 7 per cent range.”

Despite this however, the sector has constantly evolved in the country. In addition to the increased time spent in planning the marketing of a movie today, Indian movies are also seeing cross promotions. Global media is paying attention to Indian cinema and every year, there is increased exposure of Indian films in international film festivals.

“There are more mediums today to market movies in comparison to the traditional ones that we have been seeing so far and we have finally learnt of treating movies as brand and building them accordingly,” said Screwvala.

A few examples of movie being built as a brand can be seen in the fact that there will sequels of movies like ‘Dhoom’ and ‘MunnaBhai’ that will be seen soon. “Brand building can completely change the economy of movies, because a movie will no longer be dependant on stars to make it work,” added Screwvala.

The reasons, he enumerated that drive this evolution include evolution of the studio model, complete control of full value chain, distribution model now pan India, investments in exhibition and stakeholders also being committed to marketing of the movie.

In addition to the traditional media like print, outdoor, and TV, which too are used more innovatively now, with a pinch of interactivity, there are more mediums like Internet, paid PR, media tie-ups and in-film programme placement for the movie makers to play with now.

Pointing that amongst the future trends that would be seen merchandising would play a key role, Screwvala ended on the note, “Marketing a movie is turning in to being seen as an investment and not a cost and this will beneficial for the genre on the whole.”

With these, the sessions for the day ended and Jim Chabin, President and CEO, Promax&BDA had a fun presentation for the audience, comprising only of promos that have won at various Promax&BDA festivals. “As you will see, Indian work is also inclusive in these ads and signifies the important role that India is playing on the global scene,” Chabin expressed.

He gave examples of POGO and Channel V promos that have been appreciated in almost every conference that Promax has taken these ads to. Apart from channel promos, the compilation also included various beer ads, footwear ads, automobile ads and radio ads.

He concluded saying, “Sometimes to be heard, you have to push boundaries but for success, there is no check list that can be followed. In all these ads, there is nothing common except for their unquestionable creativity.”

The evening ended with a Public Service (PSA) Challenge, where in different organisations participated in creating ads for the organisation Child, Relief and You (CRY). The brief given to all organisations was the same, about addressing problems of the girl child in the country. Entities like B4U, Zee Telefilms, Walt Disney, Zoom SET India and O&M participated and the O&M won the award for its message. This ad will be aired across channels.

Another contest of the day was the SET Student Challenge, which had taken place at the last year’s function as well. The project this time was ‘Domestic Violence against women’. The winning college this year is New Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia.


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