Salman Khan-starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan wins hands-down as the best marketed film of July. An insight into the blockbuster’s marketing strategy.
Salman Khan Films’ maiden venture Bajrangi Bhaijaan is the clear winner for the best-promoted film in the month of July. Amid the gamut of releases, there was another film that shone – Bahubali.
According to many in the trade, the film was a sure-shot combination of a Salman Khan film releasing on the festival of Eid, and that’s what did the trick. Leveraging this combination, the makers also highlighted that the film was Khan’s debut as a producer. Bajrangi Bhaijaan won hands-down from a roster of films that released in July. The other films were: Guddu Rangeela, Second Hand Husband, Bahubali, I Love New Year, Masaan and Drishyam; and smaller films like Bezubaan Ishq and Aisa Yeh Jahaan. So besides content, film promotions were also a decisive factor in the victory at the box office.
As we enter a new month, we analyse the marketing strategies and promotions used by various producers to make sure their films stood out amid a volley of others that released in July. And, as we do every month, it’s time to rate the best-promoted film in July by speaking to the people who are the driving force behind film marketing and promotions. We also spoke to distributors and exhibitors, who are best placed to judge whether production houses and marketing gurus did full justice to their respective productions. Here’s the industry’s take:
Bajrangi Bhaijaan was omnipresent and successfully milked the brand name of Salman Khan, it needed a straight jacketed high-reaching campaign and I think they managed to achieve it very successfully. Drishyam needed a mix of engagement and reach as not only was it introducing a new genre of a ‘family thriller’ but also bringing back Ajay into the more intense and serious content cinema space. Things like engagement with families in cinema halls with ‘Be a part of the Drishyam poster ‘ and the online ‘Verdict Poll’ coupled with a strong post release media outreach was the right approach to get in the target audience into the cinema and translate the word of mouth into active sales
Innovation is the key to all our campaigns and so it was with Drishyam. It is a content led film and hence the campaign focused on engagement rather than spending recklessly on generating reach. Digital was used extensively to interact with audiences and reintroduce ‘Ajay the intense actor’ as this film also gives him a radical genre change compared to his recent films which gave him high action and larger than life roles.
I was very busy with Drishyam and so I couldn’t follow any other film promotions. But talking about Drishyam, we promoted our film very differently. We put Vijay Salgaonkar’s family in focus so that the audience’s would become aware of this middle-class family. The film doesn’t have songs. We did not want to add any as it would take way from the essence of the film. The film is about a brain game and to do that, we chose the digital platform to promote our film. We went to the interiors of India to promote it and also did polls. Drishyam is the kind film that rides on word-of-mouth publicity.
This was an outstanding month for cinema. We had Bahubali, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and now Drishyam, all of them high on content. Obviously, Bajrangi Bhaijaan stood out because of Salman Khan and also because it released on Eid. The marketing was very restrained and just right for a Salman Khan film as everyone anyway watches his films. Also, the makers revealed very little about the film during the promotions, which further built anticipation. Bahubali was basically a South film but the makers made sure everyone was aware of its release in Hindi.
Bajrangi Bhaijaan was an Eidi release from Salman Khan and very unlike his earlier films. The promotions were apt, where they did not go overboard. I believe if it is a Salman Khan film, all one has to do is announce the release date.