In India, movie marketing is just coming of age with the success of films like Kyun Ho Gaya Na, Black and Bride and Prejudice. The latest in line is Page 3, a box office hit, with a per print average of Rs.3.45 lakh.
Movie marketing spins around many arenas such as website design, in film placements, ground promotion, road shows, publicity designs/creative, media buying, animation, commercials and promos etc. It can take months of planning and organising and its success can make or break a film. Sanjay Bhutiani, CEO, P9, said, "I would imagine more and more producers would look at an agency like ours to avail of all services under one roof to help them promote their films better. Page 3 has been a significant showcase for P9. We got involved with the project after the film shoot was over. A campaign was already in place before the project was assigned to the agency. We saw the first rough cut and worked on the advertising and media strategy of the film. We positioned the film, analysed the concept of Page 3, did some research in towns like Mumbai, Delhi, Jodhpur and Lucknow. The concept of Page 3 drew a blank in the smaller towns, however in Delhi and Mumbai consumers responded spontaneously about the hip n happening social segment of the two metros that regularly feature on Page 3 in TOI and other publications. The objective therefore became to sell the Page 3 concept by and large to the audiences in non-metro towns, therefore not only the creative strategy but the media strategy to reach the target audience was critical."
Bhutiani added, "The proposition of the movie was "Inside Story on Page 3." The media strategy was designed to reach the non-metros as well and we used print extensively and did away completely with hoardings in Mumbai. Page 3 was a small film with limited resources. We believed that the creative strategy and the media strategy worked very well in getting the movie a good opening. When the new plans on Page 3 were presented to the producer Madhur Bhadarkar, he was quick to give the nod. The campaign was topped with Page 3 parties in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and other towns leading up to the release of the film."
P9 has movie marketing deals with two crossover films and a few large and medium sized movies. The company has also done some work on Aviator and is closing in on more Hollywood productions for brand tie-ups and media planning and buying.
Meanwhile, competitor Navin Shah (Head, Broadmind), said that much of the publicity for Page 3 has been taken by the music company Virgin Records. The script and the unconventional story-line have also had much to do with its success. On their part, Broadmind in recent days has undertaken a 360-degree multimedia campaign for the film Mere Jeevan Saathi, which they have integrated with the brand Sangini.
He said, "We had a full page spread in Bombay Times on the film Mere Jeevan Saathi (featuring Akshay Kumar, Amisha Patel and Karishma Kapoor) integrated with an ad for Sangini. What we are running is a full-fledged campaign for the film spanning outdoor, television, print and radio. We have around 14 more projects as far as films are concerned. Movie marketing is picking up in a big way in India and the spends are only increasing. This year we expect the investments to grow ten-fold. Certain elements of film marketing do differ from conventional efforts, as films can utilise the cachet surrounding the actors themselves. For instance, Jeevan Saathi is a big budget film with huge stars and we are cashing in on that popularity further by hosting ground level activity. We are organising get togethers with the stars themselves, especially for the contest winners."
According to market experts, nearly 40 per cent of all producers and studios are aligned with some agency or the other and have allotted specific marketing budgets for the film. These can be in the form of ePromos, games, contests, micro sites or events. The entertainment and movie marketing is huge in the overseas markets. It's beginning to take shape in India as well. Along with television, outdoor and print, the digital medium is extensively used to create buzz, excitement, intrigue and hype for a movie. Indian film producers are realising this opportunity and are positioning their movies not only with publicity in print and TV but also an integral Internet plan. Rs.2-10 lakh are devoted to the online promotions of a Bollywood film.