A good script or outstanding performance can no more ensure a hit in the cinema world or high earnings at box office. It requires planning and executing perfect strategy to be on top in Bollywood. Moreover, the timing of the movie release also matters. The key is to generate interest and curiosity and create positive buzz among viewers enough to bring them to the theaters and make them spend Rs 400 on a film ticket. So digital marketing of movies using various social media platforms help movie producers, directors, filmmakers and actors to reach out to larger audience.
In today’s world, we see that most of the Bollywood movies start getting promoted online much before the release date and the campaign goes on after the release as well. The official trailers of movies are uploaded on YouTube which gets millions of views and likes in couple of days. Bollywood celebrities have also moved to the social media platforms. They post about the movie from their personal Instagram or Twitter account or Facebook page in order to get larger audience with increased level of engagement.
Lets have a look at the various interesting digital marketing strategies with which Bollywood came up so far:
- Sultan (2016)
The team Sultan has launched their own official website – http://sultanmovie.com/. This has information regarding movie’s first look, poster, official trailer, theatrical trailer, songs, photos, videos, release date, star cast, shooting details, related news, interviews, etc. They also created Twitter handle for the movie as @SultanTheMovie and Facebook page as Sultan @sultanthemovie. As part of promotion campaign, the team has also launched a video that showcases Salman Khan’s journey from Salman to Sultan.
- Bajirao Mastani (2015)
Sanjay Leela Bhansali and team came up with very creative and out of the box way of creating buzz about their movie. They launched an eight part animated web series with the title “Blazing Bajirao” around 2.5 months before the movie release. The purpose was to educate audience about the Bajirao and discover his personality and charisma and know that he was a true Hero. As a result, it helped movie garnering huge box office collection.
- Dilwale (2015)
Considering the fact that everyone is becoming selfie freak, the team Dilwale came up with new idea based on selfies. The idea was Half Selfies. The movie’s main cast posed with half faces covered and posted it as first look of Dilwale on Twitter. Soon it became the trend. The team also conducted #DforDilwale contest on social media for innovative posters and motion teasers.
- Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015)
The team Prem Ratan Dhan Payo used Dubsmash videos as promotion technique on Instagram and Twitter. As Sonam’s dance moves in the title song had become rage, she asked her fans to make dubsmash videos and send it to her. She then posted those videos on her Instagram account. Many other Bollywood celebrities like Helen, Waheeda Rehman, Sridevi, Shilpa Shetty, etc. performed on the song and posted those Dubsmash videos on Twitter and Instagram. This increased the movie reach to even their followers.
- Happy New Year (2014)
Actors of Happy New Year created customized twitter handles with their names in the movie. For example, Shahrukh created @charlie, Deepika – @mohini and so on to connect the audience with their movie characters. The movie team decided to tour US and UK to put up live shows there for promoting the movie. It was called SLAM! THE TOUR! Shah Rukh was constantly updating his fans on twitter about the SLAM! concert. They also visited Google and Twitter Headquarters in San Jose, USA being first Indian film to do so. The team met the CEO of twitter, Dick Costolo and clicked pictures with him which went viral on social media. The team also met Google CEO, Sundar Pichai and had interview with him. Many people watched that interview on Google Hangouts.
- 2 States (2014)
To promote 2 States, Alia Bhat tweeted her engagement ceremony invitation card. In the card, she mentioned movie promo launch as engagement ceremony and movie release as wedding. No doubt this was one of the most interesting and dramatic way of movie promotion on social media. It generated lot of curiosity among the fans. As a result, it lead to high ticket sales.
- Jai Ho (2014)
Salman Khan went a step ahead and involved his fans in making first digital poster for his movie Jai Ho. He invited his fans on Twitter, to make the poster along with him. He wanted to have his fans on his flagship poster. So the team merged thousands of faces to make a close up shot of him. He even painted the poster himself.
- Ra.One (2011)
Surely Shahrukh Khan never leaves any stone unturned for promoting his high budgeted movies. The team Ra.One came up with the idea of developing a game with the movie theme. The game name was “Ra.One-The Game”. It was released for Sony PlayStation. The game was based on movie theme but not on storyline so as to maintain the suspense of the movie. It also kept players curious to know more about the movie. It created lot of buzz and gained attention of gaming lovers and kids. They also came up with digital comics for mobile platforms.
Apart from the above strategies, Bollywood movies such as Teri Meri Kahaani and Krrish 3 have also given chance to fans to directly interact with the lead actors using Google Hangouts and Facebook Chat.
These are just some of the ideas which Bollywood implemented while promoting their movies using digital marketing. As technology is progressing and people are getting more informed, Bollywood would keep coming up with several interesting ways of pulling the audience and thereby generating box office revenues.