Bollywood is where the “addas” are. It is not unusual to witness a chunk of friends, sitting over a cup of coffee and snacks, discussing which movie to go in next, or which one works for them. Therefore, movie posters were mostly put up at busy streets or chai-paani stalls, to enable people to notice and indulge in discussions about them. With the “addas” being relocated to the virtual world of social networking sites, Bollywood had to make a move too. Residents of the tinsel town have always been deemed to be the trendsetters, the buzz creators and the ones who do things their way. But this time around, they seem to be carried away by the wave and storm of blue, the social media and the digital world.
In a country like India, where other modes of entertainment are a notch less popular, Bollywood, as they call it, leads the way. Watching a movie still stands to be the best way to catch up with old friends or spend a weekend. With a movie buff in every square of the board, Indian film industry is practically run by its audiences.
Consequently, in making efforts to lure the masses, compel or propel them to watch their talkies, film makers have begun giving promotions their righteous due. With the new and emerging technology and media available, there is a need as well as scope for do things never tried before.
Digital presence, in its minutest sense, has existed since yore; however, it appeared on the front, with movies like 3 idiots and Paa. 3 idiots in association with zapak.com created www.idiotsacademy.com which took the user around Idiots Academy. Each room on the site offered interactive applications based on the movie.
Likewise, Amitabh Bachchan’s “Paa” engaged the surfers by creating an app on ibibo.com which urged them to share their father-son relationship tales.
Since then, there has been no looking back, and movie promotions have had their feet falling all over the socio-digital space, from facebook to twitter, YouTube to Tumblr, so on and so forth.
Having a dedicated page for the upcoming feature to engage the viewers by putting up trivia from the sets and posters is commonplace now. Hence, the task at hand is to emerge from this slew of pages and do that extra bit that catches the eye.
Shah Rukh Khan’s “Ra.One”, though might have succumbed at the box office, was a pioneer in taking the promotions on digital space to a higher rung by launching a dedicated YouTube Channel.
Herein, the viewers could locate Mr. Khan talking about the film and his stunts in a manner that was more engaging than the movie (pun intended). Khan’s another tale. “Don2” too followed the suite.
Most talked about work of the year, Gangs of Wasseypur Dyad, was as off-beat in its presence on social media, as the movie itself. The GOW page on facebook has been setup as the town of Wasseypur, where one needs citizenship and weapon to enter in.
Further, there are other contests like poster design and “Which Wasseypuri character are you?”, which have become hugely popular. For the famous blue bird (read twitter), accounts have been created of the characters from the movie, like Faisal Sardar Khan, Ramadhir Singh , etc.
The best part of the whole campaign has been the tone and language used in the conversations happening over the pages, which is in complete sync with the setup of the movie. The posts and other content have the rustic flavor of the movie, which is a major contributor to its success all over.
Another one away from the herd has been the upcoming release, Prakash Jha’s “Chakravyuh”. All set to be out in the month of October, its page has been up and running since January now. The prime highlight at the forum is the comic strip – Chakravyuh : A Comic for young rebels!, which apart from capturing the essence of the movie, also talks about the latest newspaper headlines.. For instance, this one deals with the molestation incident that happened in Guwahati: Chakravyuh : A Comic for young rebels! – Chapter 2.
There have been others like Dabangg, the first movie for which facebook ads were created, that drove the viewers to like the page and watch the trailers; Ferrari ki Sawari that introduced FKS Cricket game, which eventuated with the plot of the movie.
From the deluge of promotions, however, ones that have stood bright and tall, and have been noticed were the ones that brought something exciting to the table.
Though there might be some apprehension on over exposure and some sequels from the movies being revealed to garner attention, the success of SNS (social networking sites) as rostrum for movie promotions has silver linings all over. Things that add to the charm of online promotions are, their being cost effective and measurable (in case of movie posters at least), for you could never know how many actually watched, liked or talked about your hoarding in Dadar, here, u know 1,056,890 liked and 56,000 are talking about it.
The fun ride is for the audiences, for they get some kick ass stuff to watch right in their comfy chairs, and the trouble is for the digital marketers to lose their sleep and be on their toes.