The bollywood industry is one of the largest industries in India, though it is still not considered to be a mainstream industry because of its highly unorganised structure. Nevertheless it cannot be denied that it is one of the most lucrative and highly volatile sectors, where a film can make or break careers. The movie industry largely depends on the audience, the consuming public for its revenue. The way and means to reach this diverse audience is through promotions. Where once, the only source of promotions was “word of mouth”, today there are diverse mediums available. Promotions have become an integral part of the movie budget. Promotions have taken the pride of place in a movie’s marketing campaign. As with any product or offering for which promotions are necessary, it is so with movies too.
These days, promotions start from the day the movie is announced and go on till the day the red carpet premiere takes place. Promotions in themselves have become very essential because film makers have realised that awareness and interest in their films have to be generated much prior to the actual release of the movie so that a movie at least takes a “minimum guarantee” (MG) opening.
Modern hi-fi tech-savvy age showcases new-age cultural phenomena. Movies the cultural index of the society reflect the neo-emerging trends. A movie no longer conveys the message to the audience unless it is presented in an innovative fashion. Movies to move the audience have to be marketed competently with effective promotion, proper distribution channels, state-of-the-art facilities and so on. The channels of communication are explored to launch the film in the most effective manner.
Day by day new age technologies are exploited to give a movie an added edge over others. Promotion is the buzzword. Movies are promoted with a target audience, which eventually determines the box office success rates. Movies like Krrish and Don went ahead by organizing events, brand promotion and commodities; Don with Tag Heuer and Louis Philippe and Krrish with consumer brands like Hrithik's mask, Tiffin boxes, bottles, stationery, etc. The masks targeted the children as an audience group. A brand enables to sensitively connect with the audience according to the age groups. Brand advertising has taken over the movie industry by a storm. Recently Coca Cola had a tie up with Dhoom 2 as a promotion strategy signifying the youth culture. Amitabh Bachchan launched a mobile game Baabul after the movie. The game is obviously to garland Rani Mukherjee by two players, evidently Salman Khan and John Abraham. Movies are reaping huge dividends by making use of the latest promotional strategies.
The dictum of the age is to draw the audience to the cinema halls. Any gimmick would sell provided it gels with the target audience' mindscape. Kabul Express is advertised using a music album while it is primarily a song-less movie. Ekta Kapoor advertised her movies like Krishna Cottage through her leading daily soaps, popular serials.
Marketing strategies are constantly evolving. Bhagam Bhag was launched amidst much hoopla with a race conducted before the movie release in Mumbai, and an added surprise whereby the runners had to unearth gifts hidden at various points. Vivah went on to greet the audience at the theatres with mouth-watering laddoos true to the spirit of the wedding depicted in the film.
On the similar lines Ram Gopal Varma's catalogue for Shiva had a khakhi cover similar to an officer's uniform, and Omkara released a coffee table book recounting the events that transpired during the making of the film. It is an acknowledged fact that films marketed effectively have done well at the box office provided the movie is worth a watch.
With the e-age creating a splutter everywhere, movies are now marketed online with reviews, downloads and other features targeting the net-savvy and multiplex audience of the contemporary age.