Right from the time of Raja Harishchandra’s release, movie marketing has been a true challenge. While initially the concept was restricted to pre-movie communications through traditional media such as print, outdoor, television and merchandising, the arrival of new media and the changing role of cinema has made movie marketing a much larger notion.
From both, investment and content point of view, movies are now expected to create a profound impact that will help generate a higher RoI, thus making movie marketing a very important element. While producers have managed to add new media elements such as social media and viral marketing, they have not been able to integrate mobile as seamlessly.
The arrival of smartphones, 3G network and cheaper internet plans has made mobile one of the most attractive marketing platforms to reach out to the TG on an individual level. SMS, calling, applications, gaming, etc. are some of the methods to reach out to the audiences. However, movie banners are not seen leveraging this medium for its true potential.
Movie makers have managed to scratch the first level of the mobile marketing services. Movies such as Ra One and Chota Bheem have used gaming to reach out to the TG. Also, standard applications that offer trivia, wallpapers, ringtones, etc. of a film are usually available. Nevertheless, movie banners have failed to use mobile to create aggregated user base and loyal fan following like the television channels.
“Channels do strategic use of mobile and films do tactical use of mobile. Opportunity here is to move from tactical to strategic. In strategic use of mobiles, producers can start slightly earlier and use the medium to create long-term relation with the TG,” said Abhijit Saxena, MD and CEO, Mobilox Innovations.
Movie producers face a grey area in using mobile, mainly in terms of target ability. Most of the times, producers use mobile to create short-term campaigns which are forgotten almost immediately after the film’s release.
Saxena explained that movie houses can initiate a mobile campaign around the same time as they would initiate a print campaign. Not just one-time producers, but also big production houses can use mobile to create an aggregated audience base.
Also, producers can look at creating popularity around the theme or the characters of the movie through applications, games, jokes, etc. These elements will not only help create a pre-release environment, but can also help to keep the movie brand alive post release.
“Movie makers can effectively use a ‘click to calendar’ ad format to mark the release date in their audience’s Mobile devices,” remarked Narayan Murthy Ivaturi, GM – Global Sales and Strategy, Vserv.mobi. “We believe that if movie makers use a strategic combination of different tools such as games, apps, IVR (voice), music (ringtones), and trailers (videos) effectively, this medium can not only reach the right target audience, but also deliver a far superior value proposition to advertisers,” he added.
Longer brand life
Movies now release on very short intervals, thus reducing the brand life of a film to mere two weeks. According to Dhruv Jha, GM, Content and Experiences, Lodestar UM, mobile holds tremendous potential for movie franchises such as Don and Krissh as they have larger brand lives. Also, franchises producers have an opportunity to keep their characters and content relevant and bank on existing user base at the time of the release of a new sequel.
Mobile is practically the only tool which is with the consumer every minute. Hence, to keep up with the ever moving consumer, movie banners need to look at mobiles far more innovatively.