Category Archives: films

Using Facebook to find the Hero

Facebook Ads are something despite trying my best I find myself unable to ignore. In fact I think  my eyes are now always on a look out for conspicuous ads while I am on Facebook, and that’s how I noticed this ad

Buddha Ad on Facebook

It’s not often that you get too see an ad like this one “Ashutosh Gowarikar is searching for an actor to play Siddhartha/Buddha. If you are male 20 to 30 years of age then audition now!”. This sure looks interesting. On clicking the ad you are taken to http://www.buddha-movie.com/

Buddha Movie Website

where you can find out some basic information about the film and fill up a form to apply for auditions.

This is a really simple and innovative use of using the online medium (mostly Social) to solve a problem(finding new talent) and generating a good buzz long before the movie gets on the floor

Buddha the movie is also on Facebook and Twitter

The Design of Everyday Things: PVR’s movie schedule

If you’ve been to a PVR cinema ever you might remember their movie schedule. Here’s a screenshot for your reference (sorry for the low quality picture).

pvr cinemas movie schedule

Did you notice anything?
The listing/sub-section for PVR cinemas in South Delhi looks exactly like the subsection for West Delhi. Exactly my point.

Every time I pick up this schedule I invariably feel there’s something wrong about its design and the problem is that it’s really a pain to find out where the theatre in question(the one(s) you want to check) is located in the schedule i.e. Unless you’ve ingrained the complete  movie schedule layout in your head you will have to spend time locating the cinema of your choice (middle right or left bottom or extreme right top) and the PVR guys haven’t helped us a bit with this problem. Their approach is simple, list all the PVR theatres in NCR, categorize them according to locations, put them class wise (PVR Premiere on Top) and mass print it for each of these theatres.

While this might sound obvious(and most easy) way to go about this situation, it certainly isn’t the best (it takes some time to locate your theatre of choice) and many of you might agree that folks at PVR could do a better job at it by customizing their schedules a bit.

Wouldn’t it be nice for them to print 5-6 different schedules for various regions (North Delhi, South Delhi, Gurgaon etc) if not for all theatres and highlight the show timings for each one of them (for ex: the movie schedule for North Delhi has first/top most space for North Delhi cinema listings)?

What say?

Dev D, Ghajini, The President is coming and Tata Nano marketing case study

It’s been quite some time since I wrote marketing case studies on

and it just occurred to me to make the pdfs of all these case studies available as a compressed version, hence this post

Click Here to download the rar file containing pdfs of all the four case studies.

Marketing Case Study PDF: Ghajini and Dev D

The posts I wrote on Ghajini and Dev D’s marketing strategies have been one of the most all time popular posts on my blog, so much that they also rank really well in Google Search for keyphrases like  “marketing ghajini”, “dev d marketing” etc. While I thoroughly enjoyed researching for them and writing them I wanted more and more film buffs and marketers to read about them and appreciate what was done and understand what more can be done when marketing feature films.

To make the case studies easily available and shareable I’ve converted them into PDF format. You can download them from the links given below

Marketing Case Study: Ghajini

Marketing Case Study: Dev D

Please share with others if you find them useful.

Online Marketing Tips: The President is Coming

It’s nice to know that there are people who keep searching the blogosphere for brand mentions and it feels even better if the concerned person/product is not a big name(yet). This comment on the post on SMM Case Study for the film “The President is Coming” that I wrote a while back and a brief conversation that followed made me feel good about the whole thing. Going back to the film and it’s social media strategy here are some of the things that I could think of that can be done for the film, feel free to add/remove points from this list.

Film Website:
Contrary to my belief there’s an official site for the film (http://thepresidentiscoming.in.com/ ). Even if you miss to make a note of the unusual url, thanks to the two conspicuous headers by the host website a visit to the site will make it clear that the film’s website is one of the sub-domains at Network 18’s portal in.com . I feel these headers are a great distraction and would surely eat some clicks from film site’s traffic.

a) Discoverability: Making the website searchable and discoverable is almost as important if not more than building a good site. The way to go about this could be
1) SEO: A quick SEO exercise for the site will be helpful.
2) Link other resources to the site: Web properties like facebook group, myspace page etc should also have a link to the main site.
3) Online Ads: Google adwords, Facebook ads are also a way to spread the word.

b) Cross Linking: The traffic flow should be bi-directional, for this to happen it’s important for the website to have links of other web properties like facebook group, myspage page etc. This will help users connect to the film group/community on their platform of choice.

c) Updated Content: The content on the website should be updated regularly. Be it text or multi media items, the film’s website and at any given time should have the biggest and latest pool of content. For ex: the site here has just two videos while about a dozen videos float on YouTube.

d) Updates/News: There could be a section on the site where the guys behind the film share the latest happenings for the film and related things. These updates can also further be broadcasted to groups/communities etc across various social platforms.

e) Games: Bush Games is a nice idea but I am not sure about how usable/enjoyable the games really are. However a few things that can be done are
1) Have a link for games on the main header, unlike just on the main/home page of the site.
2) A simple game based on the shoe throwing incident will also be a fun thing, if done nicely it can spread well.

f) Contest: A contest is a good way to involve potential audience but a look at the contest page doesn’t quite make things clear. I couldn’t make out if the contest is running or closed. Contest closing date and other details would be nice. This contest can also be taken out from the site and sold outside. This could be part of the ads doing round on facebook or other online and offline ads.

g) Feel and Engagement: Ideally a glance at the site should give a feel of the energy and number of people active on it. This feel is quite communicable and helps to get new users and retain the existing ones. This could be reflected by the comment count, count of feed readers or something else. In this case there should be a segment where people can talk. A small review wall, where users can post their reviews or rate other’s reviews could be a nice and impressive testimonial.

h) Blog: A blog could also be a nice place to connect with audience but it requires some effort on the owner’s part or on the part of people who are maintaining it. There are far too many blogs with a few and irregular posts. There could be lots of interesting topics to talk about from this film.

i) Celebrity Bytes: I don’t remember reading, watching or hearing anything about the film from the cast. A couple of interviews, videos, or even blog posts from Konkona and other cast members could be a nice way to catch some eyeballs.

j) Behind the Scenes: Some behind the scenes content could also be used for promotional use, be it videos or stills. Interesting anecdotes during the making of the film etc could also be shared with the online community of the film.

The above mentioned things can be helpful in spreading the word across borders but in order to cater to Non-Indians a bit more some efforts need to be put to provide more context, increase identifiability and generate interest. Facts from Bush’s India visit, people involved in it and their experiences could help generate some buzz. It might sound far fetched but a short video from the man himself reminiscing about his visit could be a great thing. Since the characters from the film might not be that easy for a foreigner to identify some more interesting details about them could help. A few catch phrases from the film could also be de-constructed on the site. A quiz based contest about the trip could be interesting. Targeted Online and Offline ads can also help.

I would love to know if there’s anything else that you think can work. The guys behind the film are listening so lets share our views with them, you never know if one of our suggestion actually gets implemented 🙂

The Album Cover

It’s been ages since I bought a film’s audio cd/album but I thought of putting this to an end and bought the album for Anurag Kashyap’s “Dev D”. Expectedly, a lot has changed in the way “Album Covers” are designed now. As I was checking the album cover out, I happened to get my hands on the album cover of recently released Akshay Kumar starer “Chandni Chowk To China”. Lets see how the two covers compare to each other in terms of design and their offerings.

Dev D’s Album Cover

1)  Back(internal) side of the cover

Page One: This page is divided into three parts
1) Ring back/Caller tunes: This part gives you relevant codes for Airtel, Vodafone, Idea,Reliance, Tata Indicom, Virgin and Aircel
2) Ring back tunes(BSNL): This part has relevant codes for BSNL.
3) Theme: This part has the code to download movie theme.

Page Two: This page is divided into seven parts
1) Animations
2) Color Logo
3) Wallpapers
4) Buy songs(hungama mobile)
5) Listen to songs: You can listen to full songs from any of these providers, Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Reliance and Virgin
6) Download Ringtones from Airtel, Reliance, Tata Indicom, Idea, Vodafone, BSNL, wap.hungama.com
7) International Audience: Now people from US, Canada, UAE, Malaysia, UK and Mauritius can also download caller tunes, ring tones etc. This section has country specific details.

Chandni Chowk To China’s Album Cover

Actually this isn’t the album cover but this comes inside the album as a separate brochure.

Part one of the front side:

Part two of the front side: This part has codes to download dialer tunes from Tata Indicom, Airtel, Vodafone, Spice, Reliance, Idea and Aircel

Part one of Back side: This part is divided into four parts
1) Color Logo:
2) Animation
3) Wallpaper
4) Theme

Part two of the Back side: This part is for international audience to download ring tones etc. US, Canada, UAE, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and UK

Though I was never interested in “Chandni Chowk To China” and can’t ever compare it with “Dev D”, I loved their album cover/brochure a lot over the other. Here’s why
1) It’s a five page brochure as compared to two page one of Dev D.
2) It’s separate from the cover and therefore doesn’t need to be discovered by taking the album cover out from the cd case.
3) It’s designed and organized a lot better, thus way easier to read.
4) Also, I like the fact that they’ve made the ring tones available in two more neighboring markets i.e Pakistan and Bangladesh other than supporting an extra provider (Spice).

Though DEV D’s album has a free brochure containing stills of its cast I believe they should’ve used that space better. What do you think ?