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Film marketing getting smarter by the day

30-May-2005
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Film marketing getting smarter by the day

You are surrounded by a herd of killer tigers in the middle of a jungle. You need to escape as fast as possible. In order to survive, you have to cross over the river at the other end of the jungle, and reach the outpost. Choose the right equipment for the task and take intelligent decisions when faced with obstacles.

We aren't narrating a suspense story here. It's just the list of instructions that accompanies the Kaal compie game on the Karan Johar website. The fast-paced, nerve wrecking game is just one of the many attractions on the website like downloads, streaming trailers, wallpapers, gupshup and more.

Sanjay Bhutiani, Head, P9, said, "The Internet has become a significant force, particularly in the last two years. The Internet users are watching less TV and there are around 35 million Net users in India. Out of these, at least 25 per cent see movie trailers online. It would interest you to know that Hollywood films spend as much as 15-20 per cent of their budget on the Net, and we are going the same way. Via web, users can download music, wallpapers, trailers and movie information."

But he said, "The way I see it, it's a two-edged sword. On one hand, it can promote your movie to the hilt beyond national frontiers. On the other hand, it can blow it into bits and pieces just by word of mouth."

Enter Dhoom and Yashraj Films tied up a deal with ESPN Star Sports, via which popular stars Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra and John Abraham made it to the show Shaz and Waz. In recent days, Mallika Sherawat has been waltzing on the small screen more than once with the 'Bach Ke Rehna Re Baba' music trailing her footsteps. Bunti and Bubbly of course got a huge red carpet reception via Pepsi and Shah Rukh Khan, and the unmistakable belly button ad.

Suku, Head, Broadmind, said, "Film marketing is getting smarter by the day, and is no longer about bland tri-colour outdoor and technologically unimpressive trailers on screen. It's a lot more fizz, if you examine the length and the breadth of the frame. Specialist outfits have a great deal to contribute towards movie marketing, in terms of 360-degree solutions, teaming up on creative ideas and carrying the film brand beyond conventional media."

He added, "Production houses and studios are also getting savvier, when it comes to film marketing. Film makers like Ram Gopal Verma (AB Corp) and Yashraj are taking up aspects like word of mouth, teasers, flash mobs, etc, and promotion of films is becoming big like never before."

Producer Boney Kapoor asserted, "I guess the new age requires movie men to be savvier in marketing their product, and taking aspects such as packaging, below the line and positive PR more seriously. You also have to take new age aspects such as blogs more seriously. Again, contests are a great way to build the buzz for your movie brand. An example would be the Farah Khan produced Mein Hoon Na. Aap bataye, aap teacher se kar sakte hain pyar, or something to that effect which sent movie fans in a tizzy."

No matter what is your business, the success lies in understanding your market and correctly positioning the product. More so, when the product is a film brand.

One aspect of the challenge is in deciphering global audiences as well. The global audiences have to be made aware and briefed about the innate Indianness of films. In order to do this, one needs proper infrastructure in foreign markets. A hype has to be created in those markets - easier said than done

Kapoor added, "The way I see it, let's market ourselves better for the desi audience. We will think about global markets, after we have accomplished that."

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