Movie Marketing in Indian Television Shows

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on September 29, 2014

Marketing for a movie is not as simple as market an ordinary product. It requires instantaneous effect on audience to provide big box opening. Thus it is very important understanding the target audience and plans various marketing elements accordingly. Over the years certain conventions are made and one such convention is going on big television show with large viewership can provide the big opening. This was not completely wrong but situations are different for different movies. One cannot complete the movie and start marketing. Movie marketing begins with first figuring out what your audience wants. One cannot use the same lever to open different locks. Similarly for different movie you cannot use the same marketing strategy.

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Figure1: Movie selection Decision Making Process

One can decide to watch a movie or not to watch based on the Film attribute, Individual aspect, External Stimuli, Social Environment. First two factors are internal Stimuli of Individual decision making. Later two are the perception developed by the external influence. This external influence is built using various marketing elements. Marketing a movie is not a science. There is no definite set of formula or defined set of activity for success. If the movie has to stand out from the crowd, be ambitious with marketing goals and don’t bust the huge money on promotion because of the myth that they need a large budget to achieve great results. Money helps, but creativity is the real cash in marketing.

Traditionally Indian Film Industry was marketing the various Bollywood and regional movies using distribution rights of the movie as the only strategy. Over the years with steady increase in the number of film releases, market has become crowded. Many Indian producers started implementing marketing strategies adopted from Hollywood. One of the concepts which arose in last two decade is to market a movie on popular television shows. India has more than 150 million satellites and cable Television household with 30% viewership is by Hindi language audience. Television can deliver a vast audience speedily, which is very important for a movie which typically generates revenue during initial 3-4 weeks. Marketers realized the importance of the channel for movie promotions.

For movie marketing, Some TV media house use their own expertise in creating content to promote movies on television channels. Earlier special television shows were aired telecasting film making to raise film awareness and to connect with the audience. In the early 2000s, with the increase in popularity of various televisions dailies, Balaji production proficient in television daily shows used their K-series shows to promote the movies on their special episodes. These special shows benefited the Balaji Motion Pictures and the channel TV show TRP. Next is the era of Reality shows. Kaun Banega Crorepati, Indian Idol, Comedy Circus, India’s got talent, Just Dance, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and many others roared during this time. This conventional special TV show marketing was also amended to reality shows. Film houses like Red chilly entertainment, Rohit Shetty Production host reality shows like “Female model Hunt”, “Khatron ke Khiladi”. This helped them to use own reality shows to market and promote in-house movies. Bollywood is so embedded into TV that the relationship is symbiotic and it is win-win for movies, their stars as well as TV channels. Moreover for small movies which do not have large budgets and cannot have expensive ad campaign, it makes sense to target television shows to create awareness among large show audiences.


Figure 2: Movie Chennai Express Promotion in singing talent show Indian Idol


Figure 3: Movie Boss Promotion at comedy talent show Comedy Circus

Regional film houses were not far behind in promoting movies on regional television shows. TV Shows were used as a publicity platform by movie stars before the movie release to reach out their audience.

Figure 4: Movie Vishwaroopam-2 Promotion on Neengalum Vellalaam Oru Kodi

Popularity of shows provides marketer an ideal platform to promote movie among the audiences. Millions watch the show at home and discuss with the fellow fans, many go online and engage with others who share similar appreciation towards the show. Many apps were created to interact between such communities and the movie promoters. These communities have impacted the movie marketers for shaping the viewer perception toward the film. These communities enhance the social acceptance by increasing the effectiveness of movie-marketing.

For ex. recent television comedy show “Comedy Nights with Kapil” on Colors TV has gained popularity among the audience. Many of its episodes feature guest celebrities to promote their latest upcoming movie. The show also provides unique platform to the audience to interact and participate in entertaining activities like singing and dancing with the celebrities which they earlier just dreamt off. This creates an exclusive bonding between the film celebrities and the show audience. This also influences the viewer to watch the movie. These show therefore win-win for all the participants, television houses and movie promoters.

In conclusion one cannot use the same marketing mix for all movie promotions. However television shows with large audience remains one of the important channels for movie promoters to market a movie.


This article has been authored by Rakesh Rajpal from TAPMI

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