ShowBizz or Showbuzz

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 2313 , Published on 09 December 2011
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“Ae dil hai mushkil jeena yahaa, zara hat ke, zara bach ke, Ye hai Bombay meri jaan . Once known as Bombay, today’s Mumbai have came very far from its old days and so as Bollywood” the heartbeat of Mumbai. From the quiescence of “Raja Harishchandra” (1913) to latest buzz in town Ra.one (2011), Mumbai have seen a complete melodramatic century of Indian cinemas. Bollywood revolutionized and so as its marketing stints. Gone are the days when a new flick pierced the crowd through panwallas, barber shops, Radio or upcoming banner section at Movie theaters. Bollywood has always been known for touching emotions of the commons. From the time a kid is born it is rather an obligation on him to pick the famous Hindi dialogues and portray himself as the topmost mimicry artist before the guests at home. Alike Hollywood, Bollywood also doesn’t believe in “Kiss” i.e. “keep it simple silly” theory. It rather works on the outline of “Jo dikhta hai wahi bikta hai” theme which is quite evident from the current trends of cine marketing industry. Prior to the release of a flick, the stars are caught promoting their upcoming movies in TV soaps, Reality shows, Talent hunts, some big malls of metropolitans or in some award ceremonies like IIFA, Film Fare and the like.

Showbizz

Essentially this is a typical integrating marketing communication (IMC) strategy but today’s cine marketing is a step ahead of it. Covering all media platforms for every market segment (or Audience) is one aspect of it, and reaching to masses integrating both traditional and non-traditional marketing strategy, is the other. Cine marketing follows everything defined in a marketing strategy book but no rules of typical marketing applies to it. Big stars with their own production houses promoting their movies by their star image while the new comers travelling in Mumbai locals to whip the audience. Every big star is a part of a super hero series, Krish, Drona and lately G.one (From Ra.one) is just a trailer of a complete 70 mm movie.

The impact of such strategy today is that no movie can go in for bigger box office collection without a powerful marketing strategy. Producers are having nightmares from the marketing budget. Once famous for the expenditures on extraordinaire sets of movies like Mughal-e-azam, today’s bollywood buzz is the promotion budget of latest movie Ra.one where promoters have spent 52 crore (US$10.55 million) of the total estimated budget of 135 crore (US$27.38 million). Often described as the "longest promotion in Bollywood history", as well as "the most comprehensive and all-pervasive among people's lives", the term "promotional blitzkrieg" has often been used in connotation with the project's extensive marketing campaign. The question is where to draw the line. Whether 33% of budget on marketing, even if it’s a showbiz, is justified? No answer for this because so far, it’s been a grand success. In March 2011, it was announced that the television broadcasting rights for Ra.One had been sold to Star India for a then-record sum of  40 crore (US$8.11 million), surpassing the previous record set by 3 Idiots(2009) of  33 crore (US$6.69 million).The film's music rights were bought by T-Series for  15 crore (US$3.04 million) whilst the distribution rights were acquired by Eros Entertainment for  77 crore (US$15.62 million).The distribution rights for the film in Tamil Nadu and Kerala were bagged by Abirami Ramanathan for a reportedly record, but undisclosed price. Ra.One set a new record for total pre-release revenue earned, netting  132 crore (US$26.77 million), and surpassed the previous record held by 3 Idiots, which had netted  85 crore (US$17.24 million).

“All’s well that Ends well”. Today nobody can question King Khan  spending such a huge amount on promotion as, till November 4, 2011, Ra.One has grossed  192 crore (US$38.94 million) worldwide. Box Office India declared the film a "hit" in India, and a "super hit" in the overseas market. Hence, cine marketing playing with its own rules as the famous ad guru Prehlad Kakkar reiterates,  "Great ideas that change minds do not necessarily have to be rational. "

This article has been written by Vikash Kumar from IMI, New Delhi.


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