Tag Archives: cinema

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 ­čÖé

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┬á 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