5 PR Spins to Assure a Blockbuster

Topicality

The Kargil war prompted a release of LOC Kargil. It managed to gain the army applause and a nationwide support. Rest is history. First the movie needs to be relevant and appeal to the masses. If it is released while the event is still fresh in the minds of people, half the battle is won. It is also important to stay true to the events and characters. If the movie turns out to be a haphazard and insensitive effort it can turn disastrous. Black hawk down, Enemy at the gates and Bombay can be safely put in this category

Association

When it comes to movies there are two associations that matter the most. First is the Star. A popular star drives in a large fan audience, but that’s for the first day. If the movie fails to satisfy the fans, bad word of mouth can spread quickly damaging the promotion efforts. The second is the product association. Many would only recall an Aston Martin from James bond and Audi Concept car designed for iRobot more than the plot. Close to home the hugely popular ‘Zandu Balm’ item number in ‘Dabbang’ got a whole lot of traction and subsequent brand endorsement. Product placements can help you recover major portion of budget even before the movie is released.

Cultural Cues

India is a regionally diverse market when it comes to movie and to make a wide success one has to target the audience right. Most Hindi films focus on the northern territories and hence retain regional cultural elements. Once again ‘Dabbang scored high amongst the north Indian audience for its feudalistic depiction and castist undertones. Also the overseas market is lucrative and a lot of movies are made with global expatriates in mind. ‘My name is Khan’ is a good example. Another segment is of multiplex audience. Low budget movies like Bheja Fry and Khosla Ka Ghosla were amazingly successful with their humour targeted towards the urban audience.

Being Controversial

What was the controversy around Raajneeti? I personally fail to understand if there was anything that could offend any class or section, but the movie fell into controversies and was even banned initially in some states. Well it did good business. Many movies are spun around a controversial topic and are purposefully driven into a media hullabaloo. What it effectively does is it creates hype that can never be generated by only paid promotion.  Although it has its flipside, controversies can go out of hand and be blown out of proportions killing the movie which otherwise could have done better.

Big Budget Promotions

Everything being said and done, there are some things that never change for the tinsel town. Diwali, Eid, and Christmas will always remain the favourite time slots to release movies and hence every muscle is put into acquiring that unique position to lure the holiday audience. Those who can afford will try to book majority of theatres and screening times and give a stiff competition to the other movies releasing on the same day. Ra.One with 3500 prints across the country (Largest for a Hindi movie) is one such example. Apart from the major promotional tie ups with Sony playstation, F1 Force India, Mc Donald’s happy meal and the massive media jamming, just compare the odds against it when it comes to other movies releasing that day.

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