Chennai Express promises action-packed trip; pulls out all mktg stops

From social media campaign, mobile apps, aggressive TV appearances and brand integration, Chennai Express has gone all out to attract audiences

e4m by Priyanka Nair
Updated: Aug 8, 2013 8:20 AM
Chennai Express promises action-packed trip; pulls out all mktg stops

If the promotions of Chennai Express were not in-your-face, it was for a reason. This time, Shah Rukh Khan didn’t have any plans of going overtly ballistic for his most ambitious project.

This is unlike SRK’s last production Ra.One, which had a six-month long promotional campaign that went into millions of rupees. This time around, UTV Motion Pictures strategised a 360-degree marketing campaign, which had a mix of on-ground events, massive outdoor, print and television campaigns for Chennai Express.

“We ensured that all our promotional activities were parallel with the theme of the movie, which is a love story Rohit Shetty style. We made sure that all our promotions highlighted this aspect and captured it well,” said Shikha Kapur, Executive Director – Marketing, Studios, Disney UTV.

exchange4media takes a closer look at the integrated marketing strategy that Chennai Express has adopted to attract maximum viewers…

Pre-buzz using social and mobile
Social media was used to create pre-buzz for the movie. Apart from the promotions on Facebook and YouTube, UTV Motion Pictures created a special hashtag #ChennaiExpressArrives for the movie. This gave fans an opportunity to watch the trailer of the film earlier than scheduled. All they had to do was tweet on #ChennaiExpressArrives and get linked to a virtual train reaching Chennai, where the trailer was revealed.

To give fans a glimpse of the film, a mobile game ‘Chennai Express: Escape from Rameshwaram’, for both, feature phones and smartphones (Android), was launched to reach out to a wider audience. Every user got an opportunity to be Rahul (SRK’s character in the movie) in this game, which was developed by Disney UTV’s digital arm.

Integrated branding tie-ups
Best Rice has carried out its first integration with Chennai Express. Strategised by ZenithOptimedia, it includes co-branded TV, print, radio, cinema and digital campaigns that started two weeks before the release of the movie. The idea is to establish the core brand value – ‘Perfect Match’ by capitalising on the synergy between lead actors in the film.
Asus unveiled its latest product Transformer Book TX300 at the music launch of Chennai Express. It is for the first time a branding exercise took place on this scale at the music launch of a movie.

On-ground connect
UTV Motion Pictures placed interactive bogies at Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad airports, along with multiple theatres in these cities. At the recently held IIFA awards, Chennai Express was part of the entire show, with SRK hosting a segment of it. From integrated content, interviews, spots on TV channels to outdoor campaigns, Chennai Express has gone all out.

Television appearances and collaborations
To lend mass appeal to the music launch, the film targeted three leading prime time reality shows: DID Supermoms, Jhalak Dikhla Jaa and Comedy Nights with Kapil. In fact, SRK and Rohit Shetty went back to meet Kapil for another episode of Comedy Nights too. The team also joined the madness on Tarak Mehta ka Oolta Chashma, encouraged the young singers on Indian Idol Junior and appeared on very popular shows – Madhubala and Diya aur Baati Hum.

Leading TV channels and networks Aaj Tak, ABP Group and Zee Cinema also came on board to create a co-branded campaign supported by mainline print advertising.

Releasing in over 3,500 screens in the country, 700 screens abroad, including unconventional international markets such as Peru and Israel – the Bollywood Badshah is stopping at nothing to woo his fans with his next big act.

In fact, Chennai Express will be the first movie to be released on the same day in Peru and India. Screens in Morocco, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France and Israel have also been booked. The movie will be released in North America across 195 screens, in Britain across 175 screens, in the Middle East 55 screens and 30 screens in Australia. Chennai Express is said to be the first movie to be released on such a large scale in overseas market. It will be interesting to see if the movie lives up to this mega hype.

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