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Double Dhamaka

One was an obvious blockbuster and the other was intelligently promoted. Let’s hear it for Kick and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania as the best-marketed films of July

Sajid Nadiadwala and UTV’s blockbuster release Kick featuring Salman Khan and Jacqueline Fernandez was a worthy winner for the best-promoted film in the month of July, as it grabbed the hearts of the nation. 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 for the makers of the film. Leveraging this combination, the producers publicised the film as producer Nadiadwala’s directorial debut and promoted the songs, some of which were sung by Khan himself.

Dharma Productions’ Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, toplining the hit pair Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt, stood out as far as its promotional strategy was concerned. The film connected with the right audience and the youth turned out in large numbers to watch this film.

These two films emerged winners on a roster of films that released in July. The films that released were as diverse as Bobby Jasoos, Lekar Hum Deewana Dil, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, Bollywood Villa, Munna Mange Memsaab, Katto, Vatsayanana Kamasutra - 2, Amit Sahni Ki List, Hate Story 2, Pizza and Kick. So besides content, film promotions were, to a great extent, the determining factor of box-office victory.

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 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 productions.

This month, the verdict was unanimous, and the marketing teams at Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, Disney, and Dharma Productions, win hands-down for their promotion of Kick and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, success stories at the ticket window.

Here’s the industry’s take:

Ramesh Taurani, MD & Chairman, Tips Industries Ltd

According to me, two films, Kick and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, take the crown for the best-marketed films in July. These two films were very different from each other and both the production houses made sure their films reached the right audience. Kick was a massy film and the makers took it to the masses, while Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania was a young love story, so the producers made sure the cast, which is already popular among the youth, visited colleges and malls and interacted with youngsters. The producers of these films targeted their audience and succeeded in attracting them to the theatres and emerged victorious..

Jayantilal Gada, Chairman, Pen India Ltd

The best-promoted film last month was definitely Kick. The important things about the film were that besides Salman Khan as the lead, it was also promoted as Sajid Nadiadwala’s directorial debut. The producer wielded the megaphone for the first time in his career spanning more than 20 years and the makers made that evident while promoting the film. The songs of the film were also promoted well, with the added attraction that Salman Khan had lent his voice to them. All this together helped the film gain better numbers than the trade expected. Also Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania was promoted very well. The star cast visited a lot of cities and were on every TV channel.

Vishal Anand, Head Of Operations and Marketing, Fun Cinemas

Kick has to be the best marketed film of July and the result is reflected in the tremendous box-office business the film has done. It was an easier film for the makers to promote, considering it was a double dhamaka with Salman Khan and releasing his film on the Eid weekend. Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania was another film which was meant for the youth and was really marketed well. July had various films complementing each other and so these two films really stood out.

Tinku Singh, Presdient, SRS Group

Two films which were marketed very well were Kick and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. The audience expected a lot from both, and a good marketing strategy only doubled the potential of the films at the box office. While a Salman Khan film needs very little marketing, especially if it is set for an Eid release, Humpty… was films with a Punjabi connect and so it clicked well with the audience in the North. The lead pair of Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt also visited many colleges in the North, which was a huge draw for the audience. Both films had very strong marketing strategies.

Shrikant Bhasi, Chairman, Carnival Group

Coming from the Dharma stable, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania had a very good marketing strategy. Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt travelled across cities to promote their film by interacting with their fans. This helped the movie garner a good response. Lai Bhaari, being a regional film, starring Riteish Deshmukh with a cameo by Salman Khan, also did phenomenally well. The movie has been produced by Deshmukh and was also marketed well. It is Deshmukh’s first attempt in Marathi cinema and he has achieved great success with this movie.

Manoj Desai, Exhibitor, G7 and Maratha Mandir

Kick was really promoted well. It is a film meant for the single screens and keeping that audience in mind Salman Khan decided to release the trailer of the film in my theatre. That is what raised the buzz for the film, right from the word go. I don’t think any other film was marketed as well as Kick.

Harsh Jain, Exhibitor, Sanman Group

Kick and Humpty Sharma…were promoted very well. Kick was a big budget film so they had the budgets to be present across all channels. The star cast gave several interviews across several newspapers and the buzz of the film was really strong. Humpty... on the other hand was a film for the youth and the lead star cast is very popular among the youth so the makers of the film took the cast on several city tours which helped the film gain a lot of traction. The songs of the film became a hit and they were aired across music channels as well as radio stations. So these two films get my vote for the best marketed films in the month of July.

Girish Johar, Head of Distribution & Acquisition, Sahara Motion Pictures

Kick was promoted very well. It is very rare that a film collects around Rs 80 crore in just three days prior to Eid. This is a period which is usually considered dull, yet the film sailed valiant at the box office. It was a star driven film and the promotions were visible on every TV channel so the buzz was strong too. Humpty Sharma…on the other hand was a film with a new star cast and looked fresh. The film created a curiosity among the youth due to its quirky title and the songs of the film also picked up well. So the film resonated well with the youth. The cast went to several cities to promote the film, which obviously worked in its favour.

Brijesh Tandon, HK Tandon & Co.

Without a doubt, the winner of the best-marketed film in July was Kick. I don’t think any promotion was necessary because Salman Khan and Eid are an explosive combination for the box office. Without any promotion, the film would have still opened well and Humpty Sharma... is another film which was promoted very well.

Debashish Dey, Aum Moviez

Kick is the obvious winner. This time, the audience got Salman Khan doing what he does best, the best lines, show off his best dance moves and enthrall movie-goers with awesome action. The train sequence, which they showcased in the trailer, totally wowed the audience and I think the trailer itself was enough to create curiosity among cinema-goers. The filmmakers promoted the action, not just Salman Khan. The film showcased a new level of action and the makers revealed the right action sequences in the trailer. There was a lot of thinking that went into the marketing as they released the songs strategically, one after the other. Also, the songs were very catchy. Despite Kick being Jacqueline Fernandez’s first film with Khan, she didn’t go unnoticed. She was always out there on TV shows and on ground during the promotions.

Vijay Kher, NR Multimedia

I would say Kick was the best promoted film last month. The film was backed by Sajid Nadiadwala, who is known for his marketing prowess. His past releases this year, whether Highway or 2 States, were both marketed really well and this film had him turning director for the first time. So they made sure the marketing would be many notches higher than usual. They were present virtually everywhere, on TV channels, posters, hoardings and newspapers. The result is the amazing business it has done so far, even before Eid.

Rajesh Thadani, Multimedia Combines

Kick has to be the best marketed film in the month of July. Salman Khan went all out to promote the film, be it reality shows on TV channels to several locations. It was marketed well which is why the collections have been so good. Also, the fact that it was a Salman release, the buzz was already strong, so it opened extremely well too.

Jeetu Khandelwal, Movie Pioneers

Kick and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania are the two films which stand out in terms of marketing among several films which released in July. Kick is a massy film and Humpty… is a youth centric film. Both these films were targeted to the right audience.

Gaurav Gaur, O’ Real Imagination

Kick and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania were two films which were promoted really well. Kick had a huge appeal right since the trailer was launched and the weeks thereafter Salman Khan was seen all over media platforms, be it newspapers or TV channels. Humpty… was a youth centric film and they went all out to market the film to the youth with the star cast and the catchy music of the film. In fact, the makers of Lekar Hum Deewana Dil also promoted their film well. This was a film where the entire Kapoor family came forth to support the film, but the content of the film was weak, which is why it tanked at the box office.

And The Winner Is…

Amrita Pandey, Vice-President and Head, Marketing and Distribution, Studios, Disney India

It was a perfect placement for Kick, being a Salman Khan movie for a release during Eid. Our strategy from the very beginning was to go all out in terms of our International marketing efforts, which were focused towards presenting Salman in an avataar that appeals to his fans across and reach out to as many people as possible. It was key to celebrate the film and we did just that! The overseas marketing promotions began with in theatre branding and promotions in as many as 42 + countries. For the first time in the UK we did outdoor branding, reaching out to not just diaspora but definitely mainstream audiences given the scalability of the film. We took this further by initiating media and key interactions through a video conference between Salmaan Khan, Jacquline Fernandez and Chetan Bhagat, given their international appeal in both the US and the UK.We ran call to action contests where we flew in winners from territories (Australia) for the biggest gratification of all, spend time with Salman Khan! This was incredible in terms of ROI and participation.The marketing efforts continued with the ever increasing box office collections and post release activations were robust with advertising across print, radio and TV, wishing audiences a Happy Eid and inviting them to celebrate by watching the film. We released the film across 42+ countries, which included non-traditional markets like France, Germany, Morocco and Maldives, making it the widest release for a Salman movie ever in both the domestic and international markets across seven languages. The scale, action and Salman’s look has been hugely appreciated and the Eid holiday on the 5th day of release has added to the already fiery run at the box office.

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