Aug 2, 2008

Mkitg - Viral Mktg & Bollywood

Everything is possible in virtual world. So when you see Bollywood’s latest teen heart throb Imraan Khan knocking on your computer screen it has to make you curious and wonder what he’s doing there?

“Marketing is a separate exercise altogether and is actually a creative art. Our film budget was Rs 8 crore and we spent another Rs 4 crore to market Jaane Tu..Ya Jaane Na, which is 50% of our budget! And we used some really innovative marketing, specially the eye blaster technology, which I believe has been used for the first time in Bollywood, which sees Imran coming right up to you on your screen! This really was aimed at the target audience and helped in creating a buzz. It also got the song, Kabhie Kabhie Aditi a great start,” says producer Aamir Khan.

New viral marketing techniques are the latest buzz in Bollywood films. Love Story 2050 too used the internet to generate a different buzz around the film through some innovative campaigns and the much-awaited Akshay Kumar starrer, Singh Is Kinng has partnered with web portal India FM which will go live on Monday with an interactive campaign where the users will see Kumar doing stunts while the users can play a game where they get to be Akshay Kumar.

Films have now moved on from just plain vanilla advertisements to ones that ensure more interactivity with the audience. Misrosoft Advertising rich media banner where Imran Khan comes alive to interact with the user on his desktop, walks on the website, looks around, knocks on your screen and then walks into the advertisement and even moves to the tune of the song Kabhi Kabhi Aditi Zindagi worked really well for both. A separate shoot was done only for this advertisement which had a click-through rate(CTR) of 2.8%. The average CTR of banner advertisements is 0.3%.

“Earlier content that was developed for the conventional medium was put on the internet too but today specific content is developed for the internet because of the nature of the medium and the returns justify the extra costs. Five lakh users replayed the Jaane Tu... advertisement and then there is word of mouth that goes around too,” says Vineet Gupta, marketing manager, Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions.

Songs are the first consumer touch point for most Bollywood films and draw audiences to theatres. Love Story 2050 and Jaane Tu.. had groups on Facebook as well much before the release where the film’s pictures and posters were put up and the group would facilitate discussion on the film. Movie Talkies launched an application for Jaane Tu.. on Facebook on the day of the release, where users were discussing the tagline of the film — so when do you know it’s love?

Entertainment is a segment that requires different treatment than other products which is why innovation is the key in viral marketing. “The audience must get to sample the film, so that they are enticed. Net advertising aims to break clutter. It is a mixture of the right creative in the right environment,” says Nabeel Abbas, CEO, Epigram Advertising.

Films that are more youth-focused tend to use more viral marketing as the internet is popular among the youth. But according to Abbas, the internet is a good way to advertise even for those movies that are not primarily targeted at the youth. According to him, the general audience can be reached through conventional advertising but if producers are looking at a blockbuster hit then the youth must be engaged too. Knock, knock...who’s there? Imran?

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