India is a country that loves cinema and cricket in equal measure. Both these entertainment genres have not only driven brand marketing but evolved over time to become formidable platforms that guarantee marketers the much needed access to its consumers.
If we look at the evolution of film promotion and marketing in India, we have unarguably come a long way. From handmade posters of the ’70s and ’80s to digital printing and use of in-film branding during the ’90s, or the contemporary use of virtual reality mixed with a heavy dose of pre-release promotion, every decade has attempted to redefine film promotion and marketing in its own way.
Understanding this gradual shift in the approach to film marketing is critical to the success of any film and the promotion of the brands associated with it. The sure shot way of making an impact in this business has come down to being innovative. Explaining the current trends in movie marketing, Rahul Puri, MD of Mukta Arts Ltd., on behalf of Mukta A2 Cinemas, said, “The cinema business always needs to innovate to continue to attract customers and audiences. In the recent past, we have seen cinema lobbies with AR and VR standees to help attract audiences and build expectations. Bahubali 2 launched a VR film called ‘Sword of Bahubali’ to promote the film. It has worked extremely well, transporting audiences into the world that they will be watching. More and bigger budget films will do the same to build anticipation and loyalty in audiences and break the clutter of film posters and trailers.”
One of the interesting trends to notice in movie marketing is the use of data. Ever since the single screens paved way for more refined multiplex experience, film marketers have quickly adjusted their game to suit the new demands. Speaking about the new trend in movie marketing, Avisha Goswamy, VP-Sales, BookMyShow shares, “Marketing of films is no longer about generic mass media campaigns or broad brushstroke awareness. As the choice of cinema goers has evolved, so has the approach to movie marketing. With the audiences being fairly fractionated, the focus is now on data driven marketing through targeted channels of communication, so as to engage and create urgency among the viewers to watch the film. The objective has now shifted to providing a potential movie goer with in-depth information rather than token release date alerts, along with execution of on-point innovative campaigns and activities targeting passion-groups, that could include derivatives like gaming merchandise and testimonials, which not only leads to a deeper and more enduring level of gratification, but also greater word-of-mouth incidents.”
According to filmmaker Nitesh Tiwari, who shot to fame with his movie Dangal recently, film promotion has transformed in a big way. In his view, the use of digital and social media has changed the game in this domain. Speaking to exchange4media about this shift, Tiwari said, “Of late, social media has played an important role in movie marketing and the conventional way in which movies were marketed has taken a back seat. I can see constant innovations taking place in this space and in the coming time, we can expect the involvement of more technology enabled marketing in this domain.”
“As movie marketers, it is key to constantly be on our toes and think out of the box, be it advertising, or the content we create for the digital platforms, games, contests – each and every element needs to individually shine and stand out, to create a higher level of excitement for the audiences. This is why, even actors today, over and above the regular promotional mix, are exploiting social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook Live, Snapchat to reach out to their core audiences to create that extra bang for their films,” added Goswamy.