Baahubali 2, Mersal and more South films that disrupted digital marketing space in 2017

Some movies broke all box office records including the ones created by their Bollywood counterparts

e4m by Akshata R Murthy
Updated: Dec 27, 2017 9:00 AM

With social media gaining a lot of importance lately, movies have been using social media sites like Twitter extensively for marketing. The year 2017 saw a lot of South Indian regional movies use social media to go viral and create a buzz during promotions and after the movie is released. Although the origin of this trend is hard to be rooted down to, it is now catching up quicker than predicted.

The South Indian regional language films are no exception to this trend. The year 2017 indeed saw some major movements that were being caught up by the film industries down south. Some of them even raised the bar for the Bollywood movie makers and marketers by creating some remarkable box office records.

While some movies are promoting themselves on social media platforms through some major tie-ups with brands, the others have gone viral through the hashtags that were created and used by millions of users on Twitter.

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion

Under the direction of SS Rajamouli, the first part of the movie broke some major records in the box office. It gained traction from not just India, but all over the world. According to reports, the makers of the film were chasing a few major brands to associate with the movie, but unfortunately, this didn’t work out. During the release of the second part, various brands were chasing the makers for an association. The hashtag #baahubali and #baahubali2 reached about 6 million twitter users. It had about 6 million impressions with people still talking about it on social media.


This Tamil movie created a buzz among the viewers due to its content which spoke about the ongoing issues such as GST, demonetization and excess fee charged by private doctors and hospitals. This offended certain political party members which led them to protest against the movie. The memes and the hashtag #mersal made this movie go viral on Twitter. With over one million reach and impressions created on Twitter, this Vijay starrer was a box office hit. The first look poster of Mersal got more than 50K retweets, which is the highest for any Indian film on Twitter.


A second Tamil movie on this list created some major records just by the release of its trailer. It is said to have surpassed the impressions created by Salman Khan starrer Tubelight. The two fandoms of Tamil actors Vijay and Ajith took their rivalries onto Twitter which helped both the movies promote themselves widely on this platform. This movie also got more than one million impressions.

Thaana Serndha Kootam

Actor Suriya Sivakumar’s (@Suriya_offl) twitter account, unveiling the second look of this Tamil movie with hashtag #TSK became the Golden Tweet or most Retweeted Tweet of 2017 in India according to the recently published #ThisHappened2017 Twitter report.

A few industry experts commented on this trend and said:

Chandramouli Nilakantan, CEO – TRA Research & Blue Lotus Communications, said, “South Indian film industry is a very large one. The filmmakers experiment and take risks which result in great successes and different movies compared to the ones made by any other region. The competition amongst the regions in South spurs great innovations which result in these films remade and translated into Hindi and other languages. For the people in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana regions films are a primary means of entertainment. The shelf life of movies these days, range between seven to 10 days. So the pressure for the film makers and marketers to do a good job is immense as the impact should be created within the first weekend of release. Baahubali created major waves on social media this year. Enthiran part 2, which is expected to release next year, might be a big one as it has an estimated budget of 200 crores and has Rajnikanth and Akshay Kumar starred in it.”

Aditya Save, Co-founder of Agilio, added, “Social media is the new latest news go-to destination these days. The opening weekend for a film makes a huge difference. Baahubali made a big hype during the promotional activities. Mersal is a cliché movie but the star cast was what made a big difference. In South, the star cast makes a huge difference. The fans are extremely loyal to their fans in South. The whole driving of ‘I know before you do’ for a fan plays a big role. Reviews of a movie that are put up on social media platforms are taken and looked out for seriously these days. This is largely based on immediacy and latest that gives these platforms an edge. The South stars will be able to drive the interest or intrigue without even using the content of the movie through social media.”

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