Actor Shah Rukh Khan chose the final of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 (June 18, 2017) to unveil the first mini-trailer of his latest movie, ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal.’ This is the second time that the cricket tournament has been leveraged by Bollywood production houses to introduce content from their films in a matter of a week to maximise reach.
Last week, on June 11, 2017, the trailer of Akshay Kumar’s ‘Toilet Ek Prem Katha’ was launched during the mid-innings of the qualifier match between India and South Africa. As a marketing strategy, it’s a win-win situation for both the production house and the broadcaster.
Binda Dey, Head of Marketing, Red ChilliesEntertainment, says,“We were very excited to have launched our first mini trailers on the final of ICC Champions Trophy. The viewership is certainly expected to be much higher than any other match and we are glad that we could reach out to such a large audience with our mini trailers on this big day.”
This mini trailer of ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ has so far garnered 3.5 million views on YouTube.
Prior to the trailer launch, both actors promoted their films aggressively on their respective social media platforms. Coincidentally, both tried their handsat live commentary with Kumar doing it during the warm-up match between India and New Zealand last month,while Khan doing it during the final between the home country and Pakistan on Star Sports, the official broadcaster of the tournament.
Rudrarup Datta, Head of Marketing, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, shares that it’s the first time they have played an entire three-minute trailer of ‘Toilet Ek Prem Katha’ during a match. He mentions,“We followed it (live commentary) up with spots to queue in the trailer where we shot Akshay talking about the film and its association with cricket, along with Star Sports, which we played during the India-Pakistan (June 4) and India-Sri Lanka matches. This was followed by the trailer launch. This resulted in a massive snowball effect. After watching it on TV the number of people who commented on social media amplified the impact of the trailer launch. Our trailer coincidentally had 11 million views on Facebook, the highest number for any trailer in 24 hours on the same platform.”
Having said that, Datta feels that the plot of the film needs to be considered before associating it with the sport. He explains, “Does your product need to be there on cricket? If it’s a mass market product where you want to get maximum reach and a male audience to react to your product then it makes a lot of sense to do it on cricket. Our film had a larger objective as it carries a strong message on open defecation and we wanted to reach out to as many as possible. Whether they are a ticket-buying audience is a secondary question. We are glad to play the entire trailer during the match to bring out its entire context. In that scenario, India cricket is the best medium.If we were a niche product and only wanted to speak to the urban population then cricket may not have been the right option because then you are talking to so many unintended consumers.”
Trade Analyst Atul Mohanpoints out that an India-Pakistan match always draws in maximum eyeballs and that Red Chillies Entertainment was in luck to play out their snippet on the same game. He says, “Cinema and cricket unite India. When you combine them, you get the best of both. It has been tried and tested in the past. For ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’, they were lucky because nobody knew it’s going to be India and Pakistan.”
Dey agrees, “When it comes to an India-Pakistan final match, even audiences who don’t watch cricket religiously are glued to their television screens for a minute-by-minute update. We have the best of brands running their most effective campaigns during these widely celebrated cricket tournaments and it is no different for movie marketers as well. Needless to say, this is a huge platform and for our film, there couldn't have been a better start.”
Red Chillies Entertainment tested out this marketing strategy at ICC Cricket World Cup 2011,for ‘Ra.One’ for the match between India and Australia, which witnessed ‘an incredible response.’