Marketing strategies reach new heights (and depths) as filmmakers push actors to constantly stay in the news for their upcoming films.
Forget a good script or even an outstanding performance. The key to ensure a box-office hit is to generate curiosity among the audience and ensure that they get to see the stars on every TV channel or newspaper to promote the movie. Or at least that’s what our filmmakers in Bollywood think.
Seeing stars on reality shows before the film’s release is now a thing of the past. Today the magnitude of marketing is so huge, that actors stop at nothing to bring people to the theatre.
Recently, Shah Rukh Khan met the Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani to promote his upcoming movie Jab Harry Met Sejal. At one of the promotional events, SRK also compared Imtiaz Ali, the director of his upcoming film, with the legendary Yash Chopra. He promptly got trolled for the same.
Prior to that, we saw Akshay Kumar meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi for his film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. Film producer Pritish Nandy believes this is innovative. “The purpose of marketing a movie is to rise above the clutter. The news about movies or movie stars appear on the entertainment section of any newspaper and is not taken seriously beyond a point. However, by meeting the Gujarat CM or PM Modi, Shah Rukh and Akshay have made sure that the news about the movie moves from the entertainment section to a political page, national even, and thus grabs more eyeballs,” Pritish explains.
Often, actors attract the public eye by making controversial statements. Ranbir Kapoor recently admitted to stalking his ex-girlfriend Katrina Kaif on social media. He was also seen constantly butting in while Katrina spoke at a recent promotion and even finishing her sentences. While it is hard to believe that Ranbir, who is known to be shy and well-behaved, can do all this; it is very evident that it was all to promote his upcoming movie Jagga Jasoos.
Ashtar Sayed, director of the movie Maatr, believes that every film should have a unique marketing approach. “Marketing definitely helps. But now it seems that all marketing agencies have made a template and try to apply same formulae on every film. I think each film deserves a different strategy. Sometimes when the film doesn’t work, it is usually said that the film wasn’t marketed well. The heights that a marketing strategy can go up to largely depends on the strategists backing the project,” he says.
However, over-marketing the movie doesn’t always help. Films such as Raees, Rangoon, Sarkar 3 and more recently Tubelight failed to impress the audience, even after rigorous marketing. “It’s a cut-throat competition and one needs to up their game constantly if they wish to survive in this industry. If they are not in news for a long time, it will hamper their career,” says prominent media personality Simi Chandoke.