From traditional enormous hand-painted posters to their modern vinyl counterparts, Bollywood movies have traversed a long journey in the international filmmaking arena. The changing times have forced the film makers to change their style of making as well as the ways of marketing them. While Facebook pages, Twitter accounts became a must-have, some movies like Faltu and Striker chose a different way to market themselves. Now, the latest to add in the list of innovative marketing is Hrithik Roshan’s starrer Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. This movie, according to its producer will be promoted only via mobile phones and online.
For this, Excel Entertainment, the studio behind the film, has collaborated with Aircel, and will be sending a pair of three-minute trailers to Aircel’s 55 million users. Indian film studios have used mobile phones before to promote films, but this has mainly been restricted to music and ringtone downloads or simple text message alerts. At a recent news conference, the producer of the film, Ritesh Sidhwani, said that, “Many people and especially the young crowd watch promos on the Internet, so we felt it was better to go with this plan.” He added that using mobile tech allowed for a greater targeting than the spray-and-pray approach of TV and in-theater marketing. Movie’s official website is highly interactive. With links to photos, videos and La Tomatina, the Spanish tomato festival, the site does not fail to impress.
Mobile marketing is indeed a bold initiative considering the heavy stakes that these high budget movies possess. But it makes perfect sense to start somewhere. India is the world’s fastest-growing cellular market and the second largest after China. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, there were 752.2 million mobile phone subscribers as of December 31, 2010 – a massive 43.2 percent increase on the same period the previous year. Meanwhile, 18.69 million people had Internet subscriptions, a rise of 22.6 percent year-on-year. Of those, 10.99 million had broadband, up 40 percent from 7.82 million a year earlier.
The IT research company Gartner Inc. last year predicted that 82 percent of India’s 1.2 billion populations would have a mobile phone by 2014, mainly due to a focus on the rural market and lower handset prices. Moreover, with the roll-out of third-generation mobile phone services, Internet access and multimedia applications have the potential to take the Bollywood movie marketing to the next level.
So when the movie finally rolls out on July 15, the marketing gurus will also keep an eye on the performance along with the fans. This success of this strategy may well define the future of other such initiatives. Will Mobile Marketing strategy work for Bollywood movies as well as it has done for other players? What do you think about the approach? Do let us know in the comment section.