Why it’s showtime for digital movie marketing

With the changing dynamics of movie marketing and rise in digital spends, agencies are working closely with platforms and booking sites to efficiently use data to target cohorts

e4m by Shreshtha Verma
Updated: Feb 19, 2020 11:04 AM


movie marketing

Movie marketing has gone way beyond stars waving at fans in shopping malls. Not only has it grown bigger but also gone digital. Thanks to producer’s earmarking a generous chunk of production budget to promote the film, marketing movies in Bollywood is also getting more creative. Special snackable content is being created for deeper engagement with audience to woo them to the theatres.

 Content production investments especially for promoting a new film have seen a 40 per cent increase in digital spends Y-o-Y, experts said. From Bala to Dabangg and from Super 30 to Sui Dhaga, every time the moviemakers come up with something unique to popularize the film way before they hit the theatres. From investing partner content to moment marketing, focus on content and organic traction has found a more intense role in movie marketing.

 Imtiaz Ali’s latest release Love Aaj Kal is a classic example of how movie marketing is being taken to newer heights. The makers are not just spending huge money and going beyond the traditional marketing strategies but are focused on keeping the promotions creatives.  “Around Rs 8 crore-Rs, 9 crores has been spent on marketing Ali’s movie digitally,” said a highly placed source in the industry.

Experts believe that marketing and distributing a Bollywood film pan India costs the producers anywhere between Rs 2.5 crores to Rs 25 crores, depending on the size of the target audience and accordingly, its release scale. Initially, 50 per cent to 60 per cent of the total marketing budget would be spent on television but that trend has seen a complete change. The same chunk of the budget is now allocated for digital medium.

 The Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing Agency, TheSmallBigIdea, who won the mandate to for movies like Love Aajkal and Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan came up with some unique marketing idea that made both the movies a talk of the town.

TSBI has been in the business for six years overall now and movie marketing for two. Some popular films promoted by them through successful social media campaigns include Bala, Dream Girl etc. Harikrishnan Pillai, CEO & Co-founder, TheSmallBigIdea also revealed that they're seeing a 40 per cent increase in digital spends Y-o-Y.

“With changing dynamics of movie marketing, agencies are working closely with platforms and booking sites to better use data to target cohorts. With a substantial part of booking coming from booking sites, these strategies help in increasing the value of the investment on media by 18 per cent and reduces wastage.” Said Pillai. 

 Even platform innovations are playing a huge role in the disruptions of movie marketing. Platforms have started creating robust cohorts of well-defined audiences. They are also investing in creating advertising and engagement units to help brands promote. From filters to takeovers, platforms are making themselves havens for movie promotion. “We believe that over 20 per cent of the digital spends will be invested with platforms for innovations driving engagement or sales,” Pillai said.

 The driving force is the marketing strategy and the fulfilment is through impeccable execution. Movie marketing is changing in terms of its evolution and sophistication. Jagdeep Kapoor, Founder Chairman and Managing Director, Samsika Marketing Consultants believes that the spending patterns in the future will be intelligent and sensible, narrowcasting to the relevant audience, rather than broadcasting to all.

  According to Girish Johar, movie marketing and distribution expert, the marketers are spending big on digital and social media marketing because most of their audience uses social media daily. Having handled Marketing and Distribution of more than 110 films in Bollywood, Johar believes that it is mostly trailers watched on the internet that makes one decide whether they want to watch a movie or not. But today, social media marketing can change the mind of even those who are not impressed with the trailer.

"While Youth Centric movies like Love Aaj Kal and Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan only market themselves on social media, mass movies like Dabangg also uses OOH intensively," he added.

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