Tag Archives: bollywood

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

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 ?

Marketing Case Study: Dev D

January and February of this year are particularly important months for Bollywood. With lots of big budget films like “Chandni Chowk to China”, “Delhi 6”, “Dev D” and “Billu Barber” hitting the screen, there’s going to be a lot of competition to seek people’s attention and get noticed. The marketing teams behind each film would try everything they can to spread the buzz and build a sense of urgency to watch the film. Lets see how folks behind “Dev D” are going about marketing.

Lustline:

Before you go any further, pick up your phone and dial 022-61424800. Just dial it for yourself and see what it is, trust me, it will be worth the call charges(if you are dialing from India)

Welcome. To proceed, please certify that you are above 18 by pressing one.
On pressing one, you are greeted by a husky voice that says
“If you want me in English today, press one. Agar hindi mein chahiye toh do dabaiye.”

Though what happens on pressing the next digit maybe disappointing for most callers as instead of talking(or hearing) anything naughty, all they get to hear is “to get an autographed cd of the film visit the website devdthefilm.com” or “to get a movie poster visit the website devdthefilm.com” , it’s a brilliant example of something that has never been tried before. If the lustline ever worked the way it was said to work it’s great but even if it never really worked that way it opens a whole new world of interactive marketing. The possibilities of using phone and sms lines for involving masses are immense and hopefully, we would soon be seeing more being done on these lines.

Website:

You have to certify that you are above 18 to view the site, interesting.
The lustline is also available on film’s website, where again you need to certify  that you are above 18 by and select a language to get going. Though I couldn’t really get past this stage all thanks to the awfully slow site. I still don’t get why all the film websites are made in flash, other than poor SEO they all take ages to load, spoiling the whole experience but alas no one really takes note of what people are saying about these things online( see month old rants here).

Though only a few sections are working, the all red site looks intriguing just like its trailers. I liked the community links section and the fact that it has links to 10 external web properties but the site could have been a lot better and engaging(engagement is almost zero).

Videos:

I am not really a TV person, so I rely on the web for updates on what’s new on the idiot box but if you are not like me chances are that must have come across

This song was uploaded on YouTube under the official UTVMotionPictures channel three weeks back and has got about 25,000 views while the official trailer uploaded two months back has been seen more than 59,000 times and has got about 117 comments, not bad at all.Not only this, UTV folks have been regularly uploading a minute long videos of the film songs every 7-10 days with the last one uploaded yesterday. Since the movie contains 18 songs, they can easily upload 10 songs without worrying too much. These videos have got almost 1,00,000 hits in total.

Abhay Deol gets tattooed

Audio:
The films music is also available via streaming at BollywoodHungama. Anyone who listens to the songs of the film will definitely talk about it and thus spread the word. Some like me, may decide to buy the audio cd too. These songs have been listened more than 25,000 times already.

(M)TV:

After reading this nicely written piece on passionforcinema I tuned to MTV and as mentioned their tickr is full of “atyachar”. What happens if you are pretending to be working in office when you are actually playing games ? Professional atyachaar etc etc. It’s another nice way to spread the word(like I just did). There are film promos playing every 5 minutes across the news channels, even if you want you cannot miss them.

Facebook:
An active official group with 920 members as of now, 7 videos, 86 stills from the film. The good thing about the group is that it’s regularly updated and admins are also participating in it.
An active  fan page which is also heavy on content. The film has 686 fans already.
There’s also an event about Dev D’s tattoo launch. This is an interesting way of involving online audience into offline activities.
Translate the lyrics contest: There’s also a contest to translate emosanal atyachar into English & get an autographed CD

Things definitely seem to be in the right direction as far as facebook is concerned.

Other social networks(Fishing where the fish are):
Not on facebook but want to join the film group, no problem. The film has official groups/communities on orkut (176 members), perfspot (137 members), hi5 (30 members), fropper (26 members), 
bigadda
(16 members) and goyaar (10 members).

It’s worth mentioning that despite the size of the group/community the information and content is same across all these groups and apparently there are profiles of some of the cast and team members also on most of the platforms covered.

PFC:
passionforcinema is the biggest platform for Hindi film buffs and lots of experts in the field blog there. Anurag being an active blogger at PFC has written a lot of the film and engaged with his readers. There are lots of other posts written by other folks about the film.These posts must have easily got more than 10,000 views. There’s also a deleted scene video from the film exclusively for PFC which is certainly a great idea.

Controversy:
Nothing works better for making noise than a planned or accidental controversy. Dev D also has its share of controversy in the claims the film has reignited the infamous DPS mms scandal.

Merchandise:
Not sure if it’s the right category but if news sources are to be believed there are plans to launch
“Dev D Condoms”. If they pull of this one, it will be an historic(not necessarily successful) tactic, which will create a lot of buzz and be a remarkable event in marketing of bollywood films.

The marketing strategy for the film includes both offline and online activities, while Ghajini’s online marketing was more focused on stand alone sites, it’s focused more on social networks in the case of Dev D and apparently it has got to do with the fact that the producer of the film is UTVSpotboy. Apparently, they have a platform and a methodology which is used to promote their films. Given the rate at which buzz is spreading for the film and the fact that its release is about three weeks away chances are it will see a grand opening. Lets see if they come up with something else till the release date and how the movie performs.

Update: You can also download the case study in pdf format here

Social Media Marketing Case Study: The President is Coming

Social media marketing suits the needs for film makers pretty well, especially for low budget films. Social media marketing works for numerous reasons including wide reach(sans borders) and better ROI, owing to lower costs. While Ghajini saw a slew of online marketing activities, bollywood is yet to see an extensive online marketing campaign. Lets see how the guys behind “The President is Coming” have used social media tools for marketing.

Facebook
It was an ad on Facebook that caught my attention. On being clicked the ad leads to the group “The President is Coming- The Movie

Given the fact that this group is advertised(someone is paying for it) its safe to assume that its an official one. It has about 850 members, one discussion and 45 wall posts. There are a few pictures from the film and some videos(trailers, interviews etc) added by the group owners.

Facebook is slowly picking up as a platform for marketing Indian films but there seems to be a lack of clear strategy(or focus) on how to leverage the platform better. The film’s facebook campaign is top down, like in most cases and has been used just to push content, not to interact or anything else.

The least that could have been done was talking to interested people instead of just broadcasting the content. The content and the information that’s shared could have been a bit more interesting and a fan page would have been nice too.

Website: Apparently there isn’t a website built for the film, or if there is one, its not at all discoverable, which is equivalent to it not being there.

A website though simple, is a must have to share content, build a community and involve/engage the audience.

Blog: No blog either.

MySpace: Myspace has also been used to spread  the word. In place of a website, the main placeholder is the films myspace page

Few things worth noticing about the myspace part of the campaign.
1) “Friend us and write a comment about why you should be a part of the film. If we like it, we’ll contact you directly. Good Luck” reads the profile. This means for one that they started this profile a decent while before the film was expected to hit the screens and secondly it shows an attempt to involve audience.
2) Since the profile’s main page still shows November 28th as the release date, its easy to make out that nobody is really looking after the profile.
3) Content wise the profile is decent, it has a few stills, an audio clip and a video trailer of the film.
4) The profile has been befriended by 175 people so far(though there’s nothing more to it) and the public wall has managed some 14 comments. Once again no involvement from any team member or cast.

Just like it was with Facebook, the attempts at Myspace are either half-baked or poorly executed.

The least that could have been done was to keep the profile regularly updated, interact with audience and share some more information about the film. If this page is used as the main web property for the site, it should have links to other web properties like facebook etc

YouTube:
There are around a dozen different videos on YouTube for the film, ranging from “film trailers” to “behind the scenes” to “press launch” to even “post production problems”. Once again some work has been done in creating and uploading these videos but not much thinking seems to have been done to get the most out of it. Chances of you bumping into these videos are as rare as chances of you bumping into their myspace page, which are to be honest, quite bleak.

The least that could have been done was to make a channel,upload all videos from that account and cross link the channels URL to other web properties.

Imdb: Un-official page without much information and the default poster picture.

The least that could have been done was to create an official page,upload the movie poster and fill in more details.

All in all it seems like a volunteer(and informal) effort by the team members involved with the project, especially the more net savvy ones and thus you can find their imprints across various platforms discussed.

Only if there was a sound strategy in place, things could have been better and effective.

Here’s a nice trailer, apparently made by a fan(as claimed)

You can also download the case study here

Marketing Case Study: Ghajini


Aamir Khan as most of us as Bollywood Fans know is not only a brilliant actor but also an intelligent marketer. In times like these when the success of a film hugely depends on the business it does in the first two weeks the marketing genius leaves no stone unturned to spread the word for his films and create a sense of rush among his fans to watch the film asap. Ghajini is the latest offering from Aamir’s stable and needless to say he’s all over the place promoting it and pulling off acts that’ll put most marketers to shame.
Also what’s noteworthy is the fact that Internet Marketing for Ghajini has been a very significant chunk of the overall marketing strategy. Hungama is the brain behind the Internet Marketing for Ghajini.
In this post lets try to find out various tactics that went into marketing Ghajini and how they were executed.

1) The Look(Online & Offline):
Think Ghajini, Think Aamir khan’s new and conspicuous hair cut and all those tattoos. That hair cut is the latest rage in country. Huge and never thought of before efforts have been made to imprint his hairdo into audience’s mind.

Online Tactics:
a) Aamir’s blog carries a full screen sized picture as on the film posters.
b) Two of the three websites related to the film also have a big bare chested picture of his on their homepage to reaffirm the associations ( http://www.wallofsuspects.com/ and http://www.rememberghajini.com/ )

Offline Tactics:
1) First and Foremost Aamir Khan still has the same haircut.

2) Aamir and his producers tied up with leading multiplexes(PVR, BIG, Cinemax) across the country to give all the ushers, ticket-sellers the distinctive “Buzz-cut” that Aamir sports in the film.
3)Aamir personally gave the ‘buzz cut’ — the hairstyle the actor sports in Ghajini to his fans in Delhi

2) Getting fans Involved(Online):
Aamir & co have got another important bit right i.e “Interactive promotion”. Rather than doing one way communication/broadcast through the film site or simply sharing content they’ve involved his fans in the film’s promotion.

wallofsuspects: A supporting viral website for the film aims to replicate a similar concept from the film. To checkout the wallofsuspects one needs to have a code which can be obtained by uploading your or your friends images. One can also provide their mobile number which can be used to intimate if they win some prize.

findghajini : Another viral website built around the film. It’s a viral gaming application where the users can play the role of Aamir’s character in the film and try to find Ghajini through the clues provided.

3D PC Games: 25th Dec will see the release of the film and also India’s first 3D PC Game built around a movie. This is the first time there will be a complete game built around a movie. Lots of people are looking forward to it, lets see how this one goes. Here’s the video for the making of this game.

3) Getting Media Involved(Online):
Now that he’s got his fans involved what’s left ? Yes, The Media.  Aamir & co have tried to engage media persons and add a level of personal touch to the whole affair. http://www.rememberghajini.com/media/
is the place where media people can upload their pictures to which Aamir can add notes based on their previous interaction(s) with him. This repository will help him in remembering those media people more vividely and the those who register will in turn get information kit on Ghajini along with Aamir’s personal note about them.

As reported in one of the comments here Ghajini’s marketing team shared movie stills with their site so that they could be used for promotion.

4) Maintain Suspense and Throw Hooks(Online):
Unlike other film sites the sites for Ghajini are not focusing much on the synopsis of the film or the main plot(Which is out in open) they are instead focused on certain events of the film(finding the killers etc) and are leveraging them. In addition to this there are some hooks which are meant to form certain associations and build mind maps. Extending the theme from film after every 15 minutes the user gets redirected(forget everything) to the home page no matter what page they were at. Remembering the date(Remember Dec 25) on which the film will be released is another one, quite prominent and common through the sites.

5) Associations/Collaborations:
The idea for this post started when while starting my Tata Sky  I saw a Tata Sky ad featuring Aamir n Gul Panag. I mistook Gul Panag for the new actress and thought that its a great way to promote the film. Every time Tata Sky starts the viewers get to see the new ad, awesome. While Gul Panag maybe not be related to Ghajini’s Asin but as per the developments here starting tomorrow all the Tata Sky viewers should be seeing this new ad with Asin opposite Aamir khan.

Tata Sky also has a contest specifically for the film and has chosen Asin as their new brand ambassador. Not only this there’s a splurge of videos about making of Aamir’s body for the film. First time I saw the footage taken though out the course of his body building on Tata Sky and later it was all over the news channels. Giving people more and more reasons to talk about the film I say.

Van Heusen has launched a similarly-named collection for today’s uber-confident young men that is inspired by the movie. Van Heusen to promote the new range also organized a fashion show in which models sported Khan’s clothing style from the film, but also his hairstyle.

Then there’s “Tata Indicom‘s outbound dialer service with Khan’s pre-recorded voice. In this a Tata Indicom service user will get a call in Khan’s voice, asking the caller whether he is Ghajini and will tell the caller that the film is releasing on 25 December. Tata Indicom plans to reach out to 10 million customers with these outbound dialer calls. Tata Indicom is also advertising on TV for mobile downloads of Ghajini songs.” – businessofcinema.com

Samsung will be launching special Ghajini edition of models L700 and M200 of its mobile phones of L700 and M200 models. These handsets will be pre-loaded with ringtones, pictures and songs from Ghajini. Ghajini is the first Indian film to release a handset as part of the film’s content.

Aamir has also tied-up with some leading sculptors who are creating replicas of Khan’s Ghajini look. These sculptures would be installed at various multiplexes in the country.

The first phase of Ghajini’s marketing life cycle has been quite active and promising lets see how the second phase of Ghajini’s marketing life cycle fares. Made with a budget of around 50 Crore and with marketing expenses of about 14 Crore Ghajini doesn’t really need a long run to pull things off monetarily.

Irrespective of how the film fares it sure has some important lessons for all of us.

You can also download the case study in pdf format here