With the crackling chemistry of the cast and a promotional blitzkrieg, Housefull 3 wins top honours as the best marketed film of June
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 June. And, as we do every month, it’s time to rate the best-promoted film of last month by speaking to the people who are the driving force behind 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 films.
The month of June witnessed an interesting slate of films, starting with Housefull 3 featuring Akshay Kumar, RiteishDeshmukh, Abhishek Bachchan and Jacqueline Fernandez. It was the third instalment in SajidNadiadwala’sHousefull series. Next in line was a small yet full-of-heart film, NageshKukunoor’sDhanak, which released alongside RandeepHooda and Kajal Aggarwal starrer Do Lafzon Ki Kahani and Amitabh Bachchan, VidyaBalan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s TE3N.
Abhishek Chaubey’sUdta Punjab featuring Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and DiljitDosanjh followed suit and, lastly, the month of June concluded with AnuragKashyap’s Raman Raghav 2.0 and VivekAgnihotri’sJunooniyat featuring Nawazuddin Siddiqui-Vicky Kaushal and PulkitSamrat-Yami Gautam, respectively. Apart from the Hindi releases, box office counters also saw many Hollywood releases like The Conjuring 2, X-Men: Apocalypse, Finding Dory and Now You Can See Me 2.
It was a unanimous decision that SajidNadiadwala’sHousefull 3 was the clear winner for the best marketed film of June 2016. The makers of the film went all guns blazing with the films’ marketing strategy. Here’s the industry’s take on which other films deserved laurels for their marketing in June. Over to them:
Anees Bazmee Director
In the last month, all I could see was the Housefull 3 team promoting their film everywhere. Akshay Kumar went all out to promote the film along with RiteishDeshmukh and Abhishek Bachchan. It is very rare for a promotional event to give you a hint of what you can expect from the film. And during the promotions, wherever the cast went, you could see the comic timing working well. That’s why I believe that Housefull 3 was the best-marketed film of the month. Another film which received humongous marketing was Udta Punjab. Thanks to the controversy, there was plenty of awareness about the film.
Sheel Kumar, Producer
Housefull 3 was the best marketed film in June. The entire cast and crew was present on various platforms and events like city tours. They mounted a huge marketing effort on the digital platform too. And when the film released, it benefitted from word-of-mouth publicity. It was a clean comedy, which a section of the audience enjoys, and this reflected at the box office too.
Ronnie Lahiri, Producer
I believe the best marketed movie of the month was Udta Punjab. Apart from the controversy, the film generated plenty of word-of-mouth across India, and everyone was even more eager to see what the film was all about.
Anthony D’Souza , Director
The best marketed movie of the month is Housefull 3 as the entire team promoted the film across platforms, from television to reality shows to city tours. There was great chemistry between all the cast members, which was evident while they promoted the film. It was also obvious in the film, which was loved by the masses.
Abhishek Pathak, Producer
Hands down it is Udta Punjab… It had its organic noise which kept growing and then PahlajNihalani helped that noise to become an anthem. So it’s all thanks to him, and I am glad it all happened because it just helped the film’s buzz to grow even more.
Raj Malik Senior Vice-President, Production And Distribution, Krian Pictures
The best marketed film in June 2016 was Udta Punjab. While the censorship controversy was organic, it translated into tremendous curiosity value and public debate. Social media was flooded with opinions on censorship and the urgency to watch the film in its uncut form grew each day. The court verdict came through just in time and the presenters of the film managed to launch it on the intended day of release, thereby cashing in on the hype.
While it is not clear how much was intentionally done to grab headlines and generate publicity, it all added up in favour of the film. Controversy marketing strategically works but a lot depends on the context and how much it can be controlled to benefit a film. However, the film leaking on the Internet was sad, but thankfully it still managed to create enough buzz against patronising piracy, and drove the audience to watch the film in cinemas.
Murli Chhatwani, Managing Director, Muviwala Entertainment
The movies that released in June drew a mixed response from the audience as far as content and box office collections were concerned. Content-driven movies like Dhanak and TE3N failed to score at the box office in spite of being critically acclaimed due to their unique story lines and superb performances. This was because they focused their marketing strategies on word-of-mouth and the positivity of the audience.
Dhanak and TE3N were unable to cast a spell on the box office even though they were very good films, the former due to lack of proper showcasing and the latter because it did not run long enough in cinemas. Udta Punjab managed to create a lot of hype before its release due to its censorship issues, which worked very well in its favour, coupled with good hype created by the marketing guys and very affirmative critics’ reviews. The movie was able to reel in close to `60 crore at the box office, which was above trade expectations.
Among Hollywood releases in June, there were The Conjuring 2, X-Men: Apocalypse, Finding Dory and Now You Can See Me 2. The Conjuring 2 emerged as the clear winner. Considering their contribution to the box office pie, Hollywood films can neither be missed nor ignored any longer. But the best marketed movie of June 2016 was Housefull 3, thanks to their aggressive marketing team, which made the entire campaign look huge. Apart from promotion on the radio, television and digital, the entire cast and crew did their best to increase the fun quotient with their fans prior to the film’s release.
Thomas D’Souza Programming Head, PVR Cinemas
Housefull 3 was undoubtedly the winner, with its first trailer. Also, the audience was ready for a light, breezy comedy on the back of some serious and heavy-themed films in May. But I feel the honours for good marketing have to be shared among all the releases in June, as each studio tailored its marketing to its respective target audience. All publicity is good publicity and that was proved by Udta Punjab. The film benefitted immensely from the tremendous interest which spiked pre-release.
Rajesh Makhija, AVP Sales and Marketing, Carnival Cinemas
Though Housefull 3 did better business in comparison to all the other releases of June but actually it was the month of Udta Punjab and the controversies around its title and storyline. We believe that the nationwide debate and political interference facilitated Udta Punjab mass reach and helped it in the getting the unpredicted opening weekend collection figures. It even managed to unite the entire film industry and audience against a war to safeguard the freedom of creativity and now its battle with CBFC has become a case study for B-Schools. Hats off to the team of Udta Punjab!
Girish Johar Head – Global Revenue, Essel Vision
Undoubtedly the best marketed film of the month was Housefull 3. The marketing team of Eros very intelligently made clutter-breaking images/promos/posters. All of them stood out and were easily on top of the mind recall-wise. They also managed the ensemble cast and ensured that everything was marketed keeping the film brand in mind. They not only targeted their core TG, which is the youth, but also families. The film is now a `100-crore fare at the box office and a winner for all. This is the second consecutive `100-crore film for Akshay Kumar this year, after Airlift, and he will definitely score a hat trick with Rustom.
Rajesh Thadani, Distributor
Housefull 3 is the best marketed film in June; it has also done the best business. In the end, best business means the audience has come out to watch the film. The movie was marketed on every platform, from print to television and on-ground promotions. The leading star cast was seen everywhere promoting the film. The film in second place is Udta Punjab for its controversies.
Housefull 3 was the best marketed film in the month of June. The promotions started way in advance and you could see Akshay Kumar along with his team promoting the film everywhere. He devoted special time for the promotion of this film. The film was promoted in print and on other platforms too.
Vijay Kher, Distributor
Housefull 3 was a good film which was marketed for all the right reasons. The cast went all out to promote the film, from reality shows to giving interviews on television channels. In fact, they promoted the film on the digital platform very well and those videos became very popular. In the end, the audience loved the film and that was clear at the box office. The songs and trailer worked very well, which put the film on an even firmer footing.
Our strategy was to position Housefull as India’s biggest franchise film. Given that it’s a popular franchise, the team designed a big launch of Housefull 3 to bring back the craze. The main objective of our campaign was to penetrate every corner of the country through a multi-city on-ground event that translates into pan-India coverage, a massive song launch that was a part of a nationally consumed reality show. We devised the plan in a way to reach out to everyone about their favourite franchise. Making this campaign a content seeking one as against content pushing strategy.
Launching The Campaign
100 CITIES.12 STATES.50,000 FANS. One movie: Housefull 3
The trailer was launched in over 100 cities across 12 states inviting about 50 thousand fans from Gwalior, Kota, Udaipur, Raipur, Rajkot, Surat, Nasik, Nagpur, Jaipur, Baroda, Patna, Gaya, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Bhopal, Aurangabad, etc. apart from metro cities. It’s a franchise that masses love. The idea was to give the masses a chance across small towns to launch the trailer of a film and rate it for the first time in their city. Their “rating” was carried in publications with their names. For example: Surat rated the Housefull trailer with 4 stars! Similar ratings appeared across 62 cities that made the launch large scale and it connected with small towns! There were selfie booths set up across cities for audiences to take photographs with the star cast, which they took back home as souvenirs. The popular vernacular publication DainikBhaskar that has a readership of 44 million came on board to amplify the plan. The 100 city launch garnered widespread coverage in multiple publications and across electronic channels.
Through the campaign, we aimed at reaching more than a 100 million people across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, leveraging online presence of Eros’ platforms and those of the talents.
For the massive trailer launch, we also conducted an online inter-city competition, asking fans to tweets using city-specific hashtags. The star cast visited cities such as Ahmedabad who had the highest number of tweets or spikes in tweets (resulting in a city or national trend). Successfully, the completion found visibility throughout Twitter universe, hijacking most of the trends’ lists. The trailer received 12 Million views in just 4 days thus continuing the strategy of “seeking” as a thread leading to our city visit tours.
We shot candid videos of the star cast through the campaign highlighting the light moments, fun and chemistry between all the actors while shooting and promoting the movie. The videos were laughter riots and went viral minutes after they were posted online. These videos were strategically posted before launching an asset to draw digital attention towards the film on digital and led to the film handle trending almost every day through the campaign.
Music And On Ground Promotions
So you think you can dance taanguthake? A mob of dancers launched the song Taanguthake in front of massive crowds to build the large scale of the film. To give this wide reach, the popular TV show So You Think You Can Dance came on board and made this launch a televised affair. The activity captured massive media attention and consumer eyeballs with a crowd of over 10,000 people. The largeness of this was also captured in the promos that ran across the ZEE network. The contestants of the show also carried out these flash mobs across multiplexes in their own states making this launch a nationwide ground event.
The audiences loved the punch lines and quirky dialogues from the film so much that they have now become part of daily conversations. And to make this happen we had a high frequency campaign running with multiples dialogue promos which ran across handpicked content in family, entertainment environment on television. The multiple dialogues established each of the characters from the film as well as the series of comical events that happen in this house, of Housefull 3. The TV strategy shouted loud and clear that there’s so much more in this dose of Housefull 3 that the comedy lovers can just not miss it. We also created Housefull weekends with integrations on nonfiction shows targeting leading channels for four consecutive weeks, leading to the release of the film.
Leading To The Release
Housefull with fans! While we started our campaign reaching out to 100 cities, we culminated the entire campaign with fans travelling from across the cities to Mumbai to meet the stars. Here, amidst the media, ensemble cast enacted comedy scenes along with the fans from the franchise creating some fun memories for the campaign and crazy moments for the media to capture.
Taking the biggest worldwide opening of the year so far, Housefull 3 is not only on the list of 2016’s top grosser, but has also brought back comedy in a big way in Indian cinema. The laughter continues with each show with the audience going back for an encore. It was ‘Housefull’ everywhere for Housefull 3!