2011: The year of promoting films & a mix bag of results
Friday, December 30, 2011 8:25:53 PM (IST)
Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade Editorial
The annals of history of Hindi cinema 2011 would be considered as the year when efforts were mobilized in all forms and manners to promote a film, and technology was also leveraged in a big way to promote films. But it was observed that when the veneer was removed from the surface, i.e. once the marketing or promoting exercise relating to release of a film was over and the film hit the theatre, the efforts may not have yielded results in commensurate proportions. In all the cases, one common feature that has emerged as an underlining motif is the promotion of the films through various television channel programmes, and it was done in a rather aggressive manner in 2011.
As the curtains come to a close on the year, it indeed is an opportunity to go down memory lane and have a look at some of these movies which gave a new paradigm to the approach of marketing a film.
NO ONE KILLED JESSICA: A film that was a by-product of interventions of media to address issues concerning common man, it was promoted through news channels primarily, as it was the television news channel which had positioned Jessica Lall murder into the mainstream, and the film was a huge success.
DHOBI GHAT: DHOBI GHAT was a film that made waves at the international circuits and was marketed as a maiden venture of Kiran Rao, Aamir Khan’s wife. The film could not live up to the hype, may be the theme of the film was slightly beyond its time for the average fan of Indian cinema.
7 KHOON MAAF: Vishal Bhardwaj’s 7 KHOON MAAF was marketed as a film that would change the manner in which a female actor performs the role, i.e. it was a gutsy role to enact, but the audience did not like the lead female actor going on a murder spree of her husbands' and the film was murdered at the box office.
GAME: GAME was marketed as a super action film and a sort of comeback vehicle for Abhishek Bachchan and was portrayed as a slick action film, but the built up panned out as the story line could not hold and it was amongst the duds of 2011.
FALTU: Vashu Bhagnani’s second attempt to launch his son Jackie Bhagnani without any hype or hoopla emerged as surprised hits for the year, as it touched the raw nerve of the present generation. The issue that it sought to address was what should the youngsters of the country who do not get good marks do, do they have the future in the system or not, and that is why it succeeded.
DUM MAARO DUM: Another Abhishek Bachchan film that was marketed with huge fan fare, as being the ultimate film on Goa, came a cropper as the script was too loose veneering to the stereotype associated with Goa. Dev Anand had also reservations about using the song of his film as a title, and one does not know whether the lyrics “potti… nanga”, also contributed to its demise, but it was a big flop of 2011.
RAGINI MMS: RAGINI MMS was a film from the production house of Ekta Kapoor which delved into the realm of horror by using modern signposts like the hotel room, and with ample dose of sex scenes, it was a surprise hit for 2011. No marketing was involved in the film and the producers let the subject speak about the product.
BHEJA FRY 2: It has happened again with a sickening regularity that a sequel to an original, unlike in Hollywood, could not make a mark though it had all the nuances of modern day angst of middle class. It was marketed as an extension of BHEJA FRY but it indeed fried the BHEJA of the audience and they rejected it.
DELHI BELLY: It was one of the marketing successes for 2011 as the built up to the film starred along with DHOBI GHAT and the novelty of the subject ensured that it would be a hit. Indeed it was one of the biggest hits for the year 2011.
ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA: Zoya Akhtar directed multi starrer that was marketed as a film with a difference, indeed emerged as a film with a difference, and it was a surprise hit amongst 2011. The success of the film lay in the fact probably that it was an innovative subject where love was to be found through trial and tribulation.
AARAKSHAN: One of the most controversial films of 2011 it was marketed as a film that was going to have a relook at the issue of reservation in the country, but it got tangled in the political controversies associated with reservation. It however turned out to be manna from heaven for the film as the element of curiosity generated increased the footfall and it emerged as one of the successful films for 2011.
MAUSAM: A film that was touted as one of the most romantic for the year and said to give a new romantic pair of Shahid Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor, a film that was talked about through all forms of media, even front page newspapers advertisements were carried to promote the film, could not make a major dent. It was owing to the fact that the subject line could not evince interest of the audience.
RASCALS: Touted as a comic caper, the film erred on the side of decency, relying more on sexual innuendos and it came cropper at the box office. RASCALS was promoted through all forms of media but it was the subject line that became its bane.
RA.ONE: What could one say about RA.ONE, supposed to be India’s answer to SUPERMAN and SPIDERMAN, even games were launched to promote the film, but it could not make as much waves at the box office. RA.ONE was a film where international brands were associated in a big way, but it could not appeal to the audience as it went into the genre of gaming.
ROCKSTAR: ROCKSTAR was not marketed in a normal manner, but rock concerts were held in different parts of the country to create a sense of identity of a ROCKSTAR. The film was a major success on account of novelty of its content, as also on account of the fact that the film as a package was marketed not the stars of the film, which otherwise is the case.
THE DIRTY PICTURE: One of the biggest marketing successes of 2011, a film where Vidya Balan was packaged as sultry actress of south of yesteryears, and she lived the role to the hilt, appearing in sensual garments in various public appearance created an ambience for the film and it emerged as one of the most successful films for 2011. It goes without saying that the content of the film was also innovative and contributed to success. But the hype through marketing efforts was phenomenal.
So the year has come to an end and let’s hope that marketing as a tool in 2012 would be used rather as a supplementing agent for the film and not as a complementing one as it does not provide results in desired quantum.
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Tags : Hindi cinema, NO ONE KILLED JESSICA, DHOBI GHAT: DHOBI GHAT, 7 KHOON MAAF, GAME: GAME, FALTU, DUM MAARO DUM, RAGINI MMS: RAGINI MMS, BHEJA FRY 2, DELHI BELLY, ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA, AARAKSHAN, MAUSAM, RASCALS, RA.ONE, ROCKSTAR, THE DIRTY PICTURE