If you want to make a movie, what would you choose to do in order to bring it under the notice of the audience? Posters? Social media? Promotional events? All these methods of promotion are things of past. Great blockbusters nowadays spend a phenomenal amount of money on the marketing of the film. Special care is taken as to what information of film is to let out and what is to withhold.
Many movies have used bizarre methods of promotion, like for ‘Daawat-e-ishq’, Aditya Roy Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra had embarked on a national tour to try different foods and cuisines all over India. Bipasha Basu became the host of ‘Fear files’ for an episode, for the promotion of her horror movie ‘Atma’. For the promotion of ‘2 States’, Alia Bhatt went to twitter to invite India to the engagement (promotional event) of Ananya (Alia) and Krish (Arjun) on the day the film was to release. ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ benefitted a lot from the ‘Gaali’ app they released in the market. Makers of ‘Barfi’ had an ingenious Youtube application where you could change the moods and faces of Barfi.
It is hence needless to say that good marketing often ensures a good run for a movie with an average storyline and cast. If the film has a phenomenal lead actor who can carry it on their shoulders, then it can glide easily through to the 100-crore club with substantial amount of marketing, take for instance movies like ‘PremRatanDhanPayo’ and ‘Dilwale’.
Let’s have a look at 8 fantastic Indian movies which used indifferent methods of promotion-
1 .Ra.One(2011) –Shah Rukh Khan spent a bounty of 52 crores on digital marketing of his film Ra one. It was the first film of its kind to release its own gaming and merchandise. It was reported that the producers had signed deals with 25 brands. Also, they had released their game ‘R.A. One – The game’ on Sony Playstation in October 2011. It was after this movie that Krrish 3 followed suite.
- 3 Idiots (2009) – This film was the first film to break the Guinness book of world records for the highest grossing Bollywood film ever. Aamir Khan, being as inventive that he is, went out of his way to promote this movie, directed by RajkumarHirani. Aamir Khan, who was playing the character of ‘Rancho’, a guy who goes missing in the film, actually plays hide-and-seek with the public. There were several cues released online to tell where he is, and the first one was released by Sachin Tendulkar.
- Kahaani (2012)–Can you imagine in your wildest dreams that you walk up to the ticket window and find a superstar sitting inside, waiting for you? Yes, VidyaBalan went a step ahead and sat behind the desk, in the box office for ticket booking, for her movie ‘kahaani’, in which a pregnant woman searches for her missing husband. She also went to Khar railway station and questioned people about her husband, with a sketch in her hand. All of this was a promotional stunt for her movie. Later on, Deepika and Ranbir commenced on a journey from Mumbai to Delhi on train, for the promotion of ‘Tamasha’, and Varun and Alia got on Mumbai local for the promotion of ‘Humpty Sharma kiDulhania’.
- Ghajini (2008) – Ghajini is another film by Aamir Khan, which wasn’t very strong going by its script or action sequences, but it beamed into limelight as Aamir Khan started showing up in public events, conferences and parties with a ghajini style haircut about 5-6 months before the movie’s release. This piqued the media that was kept guessing about his new movie and his unique look in it. Also, Aamir Khan was seen giving Ghajini style haircuts to people in a mall in Mumbai.
- Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2012) – Directed by Zoya Akhtar, this movie ventured into another level of marketing. They tied up with Spain tourism and other brand endorsements, like Mountain dew (Darrkeaagejeethai). The movie was very-well accepted by the audience. This kind of approach was also opted by Kabir Khan in ‘Ektha tiger’, as they tied up with Ireland tourism. The brand endorsement approach was first used by ‘Fashion’, as they ganged up with Sunsilk, to promote Priyanka’s venture.
- Dhoom 3 (2014) –Dhoom-3, a blockbuster movie starring Aamir Khan, had a different approach to its marketing strategy. Aamir chose not to promote this movie at all. There were lesser giveaways through trailers and songs, hence people were left guessing and asking for more. Though Salman Khan promoted his friend’s movie by wearing a similar hat worn by Aamir, on big boss. Otherwise, there was absolutely no marketing for this film.
- Rowdy Rathore (2012) –When Rowdy Rathore was about to release, UTV had tied up with Red FM for the ‘Rowdy Hunt’ to look for people who work towards social betterment. The prize was that winners get to accompany Akshay Kumar during the films promotional tours. Radio was used by Rani Mukherjee’s earlier venture ‘Aiyaa’, as Radio Mirchi modified their signature tune to sound like the popular song ‘Aga Bai’.
Actors like Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhat, Siddharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan and Salman khan have started visiting colleges in different metro cities to appeal to the youth, as universities are the hotspots for spreading the movie like wildfire.
- Dirty Picture (2011) – The Dirty Picture, a Balaji Telefilms’ production became quite popular with the news of its storyline (it was based on the life of ‘Silk’, played by VidyaBalan), and the fact that Balan had gained 20 kilos of weight to fit into her character. Media also pulls up its eyebrows when a celebrity makes a drastic body change for an upcoming movie, and hence it acts in itself as a promotion, like Shah Rukh’s transformation in ‘Om Shanti Om’, Farhan’s transformation in ‘BhaagMilkhaBhaag’, Priyanka’s transformation for ‘Mary Kom’, and many more.
The movie was immensely promoted on shows like CID, Bade achchelagtehain and other reality shows. The characters of the movie shared the screen with the TV show characters and were included in the script of that episode. It has now become a common occurrence, with every other actor doing a cameo in high-TRP TV shows, or their films’ songs being played on the show.
Do you know any other movies that used a different method of movie promotion? Comment your opinion below.