The movie making process happens in three stages: pre-production, production (shooting) and post-production. From developing a story that can be made into a film to the release, movies go through various processes that make them what they finally are. And one of the most important process, especially in the current generation, is marketing. Earlier, people went to the theaters just by seeing the posters or hearing the song or by seeing who is acting in the film but today, our worlds have become wider, we have social media, we will get to know whether a film is good or bad within hours. Here, the promotion of a film plays a major role. And today we will take a look at what actually marketing does in the success of a film and how important it is to promote a film in the right way.
Promotion for a film had started as an information or a notice to the people, the format was like a film titled XYZ is releasing, it is based on whatever theme and so-and-so is acting in it and directing it. Later on, announcements were made all over the town about the films coming up. By the invention of television, things became easier as they aired short promos or the songs of the latest films that tempted the people to go and watch them. As the number of movies being made increased, the promotions had to be more captivating. By this time there were several movie magazines, special entertainment columns in newspapers etc. Makers were forced to think bigger when it came to marketing a film. And that revolution of thinking bigger has brought the film promotions to the stage we see now. If it is a Bollywood mainstream film, the promotions start 40 days before the release, the trailer and song launches are done in a grand manner and the stars visit TV show sets, malls and collages to promote their films. When we look at the south, most of the promotions happen within the last two weeks to the release. Very few films come up with special strategies and the others follow the same pattern of promoting a film through TV programmes and releasing impressive promos.
Promotion is actually selling the film to the audience, they have to tempting and captivating so that the people would go to the theaters to watch the film. If it is a big star’s film, there will be a hype from the fans, the fans would create a good opening to their favorite star’s film. But only few of the star vehicles create an impact among the neutral audience as well. Every film is different and every film deserves to be promoted differently. The wrong promotion can end up to be a disaster. Established production houses will have a good marketing team for their films. From at what occasion the first look poster must be released to creating new methods to promote a film, every step will be planned. Often the promotion is outsourced to promotional agencies as well. In this process, the makers would hire a good promotional agency and discuss how they can promote the film and release the money. Online promotion itself is different from the on-field promotions. Online promotion for a Malayalam/Tamil film will cost between 1 to 6 lakhs on average.
A minimum quantity of good promotion is a must for any film. There are films that released with no prior marketing and succeeded with mouth publicity but that doesn’t happen always. If at least the trailer or songs have grabbed some attention, then that would do some good to the release. The basic promotion can be done in two weeks and if that managed to grab attention then it will be a benefit. A good producer will always know the importance of marketing a film. They won’t hesitate spending money on the promotion. The producer must be well aware of the budget, the actors’ remuneration, what would be the expected opening and finally how much money he can release on the promotion and what kind of promotion the film requires. If we look at two examples of Baahubali and Kabali, the promotions costed as much as production cost but both the films grabbed that much attention and earned good profits. A perfectly proportioned movie promotion can help even an average film earn profits.
Throughout the recent years we have seen some amazing promotional strategies. If it’s Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, who is known as the king of marketing, had arranged an entire dance reality show for promoting his film Happy New Year. Hrithik Roshan’s Bang Bang dare also was a superhit strategy. When we travel South, Baahubali 2 had a lot of hype anyway but the team never let the fire of excitement exhaust, they were constantly coming up with new merchandises and small informations on the film. Kabali’s promotion had made even the Hollywood enquire about Rajinikanth’s stardom, the publicity on the airplane was a historic event. Few films have given challenges to the audience through social media or asked the viewers to do dubsmashes on their dialogues, these tactics have worked well because this makes the people feel being a part of the film and they get the attention of celebrities. A very recent promotional strategy that looks super exciting is for Rana Daggubati’s Telugu film Nene Raju Nene Mantri. The team has created a chance for the audience to get photographed with Rana and Kajal Aggarwal through Augmented Reality. The idea is pretty cool and surely people will get excited about it. And each time we get something new, we will think more about it, we will discuss more about it. So more uniqueness is equal to more attention.
Every week of very month has more than two movie releases. The people lead a busy life and there is television, social media and much more in their lives. If they must be brought into the cinema halls, the film must give them some hope. The promotion must convince the viewer that their money and time will be worth it. A well promoted film is already half successful. It doesn’t matter if it has new faces or superstars, if the promotion is good the crowd appears from first show and if the promotion is bad it will take some time for the people to decide whether to hit the theaters or wait for the television premier. Every step in filmmaking is really important but nowadays the marketing is very crucial as that alone can fill the seats.
Hardcore Film Lover and Ardent Movie Goer, Aspiring Film Maker.