Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Marketing Machine in Bollywood

With movie audiences spoilt for choice, slick and sleek marketing is vital to capture mindshare

Considering the increasing importance of marketing in deciding the fate of a film, and in movie placements are one such aspect, in the recent times, marketing spends can account for almost half of the cost of production of a small movie. The spends are flexible, but they can be as much as the movie itself if the producer decides itself worth ploughing the money back. Marketing too has become very sophisticated. The earlier approach, the noisy marketing that assailed audiences with TV & Prints ads, is passé. In a fragmented environment, it is difficult to capture audiences’ mindshare for a film. It calls for marketing campaigns in which movies are treated as a consumer products; its marketing communication sets once audience profile and message has been fine tuned.

Today everyone understands the importance of owning their films. It can be illustrated by pointing the very media savvy stars today. These days they are willing to take part in media interactions, cast engagements and even road trips (stripping of Aamir Khan, the clinical documentation of flab to pectorals) his generous billboard appearances in the bizarre Ghajini haircut or the actor himself flying down to Delhi, and giving the haircut in a makeshift salon. And yes, it certainly paid off, of course with due respect to the contents of the movie; the movie was the biggest hit in recent months. The plans are entirely different for the highly awaited Delhi 6, which has a more berate Indian appeal. A caravan will carry the stars across different cities of the country, a mela recreating the gullies (lanes) of Old Delhi is being planned for Kolkata and Bangalore. For its latest release Luck by Chance, Big Pictures arranged programming alliances which is now a norm; stars made appearances on reality shows. Big Pictures is leveraging Reliance ADAG’s other entertainment businesses-Zapak, Big Adda and Big Flicks and also rolling out online promos on Yahoo! Google and even Rediff.

The entire process starts at the script level, where the TAs (target audiences), message and brands’ equations are researched on to find out the product / service fit. The movie Fashion tied up with Sunsilk and Kimaya, which launched a range after the film. Lead actresses Priyanka Chopra and Kangna Ranaut sauntered the ramp for Sunsilk at Lakme fashion week---thus, the buzz reaching to the peak at the time of launch. A Vogue photo shoot was roped into the storyline; svelte and sultry Priyanka Chopra had already featured on the magazine’s cover by the time the film released. Therefore, it is not farfetched to expect two versions of King Khan’s next release—where in one he would play a Tag Heuer sporting NASA scientist, meet a babe, woo her over Diet Pepsis, flex a few muscles and also sing few numbers and in the other, he would play a Dish TV dealer, meet the babe, woo her with Pepsis and Sunfeast biscuits, flex the same muscles and sing the same numbers.