“Give a missed call or drop in a Whatsapp message to get the ‘Happy New Year (HNY)’ trailer on your mobile”!

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Gone are the days of a Golden Jubilee, Silver Jubilee or even a decade of the screening of films. In today’s time the films are being judged based on their performance in the first week or at max the second week. The first weekend seals the fate of the film, declares the trend of collection and makes it a flop or a blockbuster. And if by chance the response is not expected then the only solace your week 1 collections, cause after that a new film with a competitor star will come to thrash you down. Therefore to be in the top league one needs to think and be out of the box to come in view of the audience. Unless the viewers have a preliminary knowledge about the film, they really won’t go and use those 250 bucks to watch cinema in those multiplexes.

One of the most awaited releases of this year -Happy New Year, has managed to be in news since 1st January 2014. It has been in the limelight from the beginning of the year and the film is supposed to release in the last quarter. The spread out presence will surely help the initial drive of audience for the film; given the release is a festival weekend as well. SRK’s well timed and planned marketing strategies have helped the above to be achieved. His list of creative marketing strategies just got longer with HNY promotions, directed straight to the hearts (DIL) of INDIAWAALE:

Appropriate Timing:

Happy New Year’s first look was released on 1st January. Could it be any better?  And not just this but what caught greater attention was the personalised autographed posters sent to the fans of the stars in the film, the director and the followers of the film on the official twitter handle. Yes! Imagine the first poster of the movie being sent to you with an autograph from SRK, Deepika and the rest themselves. Bringing in the instant heart connect factor. The cast did make the New Year special for the fans by wishing them personally. What say?                   

Promotion gets Personal:

Going a step ahead, SRK released the trailer of the film on whatsapp. Using the most exploited mobile networking application- Whatsapp, it ensured HNY buzzing in the news industry. Tapping the 50 million users at one go, it was a very smart move by the team. And for the movie buffs it was a treat, getting the trailers in their phones, forgoing the hassle of searching the trailer on YouTube and waiting for the buffering.

Along with it there was a special chance to get the trailer being sent to you personally by the man himself- SRK on twitter. One just had to tweet with @HNY and #HNYTrailer.

Social Media at Best:

Promoting films on social media like twitter has been adopted now by every next person. But here’s yet another twist by HNY. Every actor of the film had customised their twitter handles. They added their on-screen name to the twitter handle. Also the team visited the Google and Twitter headquarters, while they were on the SLAM tour. They interacted with the fans there and received twitter handle monogrammed jackets from twitter.

Global Extravaganza SLAM:

Inter-state promotions, tours and visits have become a must promotion for the film. Visiting the malls, cinema halls for different places is the first step to publicise the film. But given the global fan following of SRK, a global tour was most expected to come out of his kitty this time. And he did enthral his foreign lovers from 19th September to 5th October. The entire cast along with Yo Yo, Madhuri and Mallika Arora Khan; travelled across USA, Canada and UK. The tour received over the top appreciation and response bringing HNY in international headlines too.

Dil Se Naachein INDIAWAALE:

After tapping every possibility one could think of, team HNY brought in innovation in the small screen promotion circuit. Judge Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa, Chat with Kapil Sharma, Talk to Bigg Boss contestants…so much cliché.  Every next person does that. Looks like SRK and team got bored. They decided to launch a dance reality show instead. With this idea, they wanted to be in the small screen news for a long time as opposed to coming in a particular reality show for some time. Keeping with the plot of Dance Competition in the film, they chose to make the nation dance on the tunes of their heartbeats. The ‘Agents of Happiness’ or the judges are none other than the 6 lead actors and Farah Khan. With the ‘Happy Dancing’ bus, they will be going to 4 cities- Mumbai, Ahemdabad, Indore and Delhi and finding the Indian who dances straight from the heart forgetting everything. And guess what’s the scoring- none other than our pretty emoticons- OKIE , SUKHI and HANSMUKHI. Emoticons are our life now, aren’t they?

With such impressive promotional ideas, Red Chillies has yet again made a mark in the marketing business. Taking the film directly to the people, giving them a personal attachment and asking them to listen to their hearts, Indiawaaley are sure to go out and spend those 250 bucks for HNY. Emotions and India connect is a well known fact and for this Diwali release, SRK has very cleverly made it the USP of the film.

Happy New Year is not the only film to be marketed with such ideas. Infact Red Chillies production house has been known for making the rounds always, with their marketing gimmicks. Be it Om Shanti Om’s official website or the collaboration with Nokia to enable the handset owners to see exclusive behind the scenes of OSO.

Not only OSO but Ra.One, one of the biggest films produced by the banner paid huge attention to marketing. In 2011, Ra.One was one of its kind films with a promotional budget of Rs 52 crore. It was based on an extensive viral digital campaign, with an official YouTube channel, a social game on the Sony play station, digital comics with the characters of the film and a digital G.One store selling merchandise among the other widely used ways. In the same year Don2 came out with a dialogue marketing campaign. Since Don largely worked because of the dialogues, while promoting Don2 videos of only dialogues being recited by SRK were released. Also for 14 weeks these dialogues were printed in a corner of national dailies, with every Friday releasing a new dialogue.

Even last year’s release Chennai Express was promoted with ideas unique to the storyline and characters of the film. Posters were released in different languages and the first of its kind android and Java game was launched pre-release the film. Also audience were given a special chance to taste the local flavour food while watching the film.

Shah Rukh Khan is not the only one behind such strategies, but as per the Screen Annual Survey 2014, he is leading the Khans in terms of marketing in Bollywood. This is probably because SRK goes out and out to promote his film, utilising every possible platform in a never before tried way. Whereas on the other hand Aamir Khan, known for his marketing while Ghajini and 3 idiots, chooses film centric strategies.  And Salman Khan does not really use any marketing but just his fan following.

Why this Hoopla around Marketing?

Because we are living in this 21st Century, which is a clutter of information and technology, reign of social media and filled with aware audience. Ensuring a BLOCKBUSTER no more is just signing a superstar, making the film, having a music launch and then leaving it to the fate of Fearful Friday. Marketing is a sales driver, today. This way the viewers are engaged with the film, months before the release. Earlier the promotions included, full size posters, banners, music launches, creating some gossip or rumours. But within a decade the era of marketing has seen a drastic change. With social media and technology, the hype about a film is created maximum using this. To remain in the limelight and emerge winner, thinking differently is needed. “Every movie has its own size so accordingly branding is done. Today marketing has become an important crux of film making business. One has to pull audiences to theatres and needs to indulge in innovative marketing”, said Kamal Jain, CFO, Eros International.

With so much hype and hoopla created around Happy New Year and a fortnight remaining, 24th October will decide the tag that remains with HNY. Let’s see whether the extensive marketing done by the team helps it to reach the most wanted 100 crore club. Also, what new marketing can the Bollywood industry show us in the years to come.

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