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Shah Rukh Khan’s unique marketing juggernaut made sure Happy New Year was the Best-Promoted film in October

Film- related marketing and publicity is always on a high during the festive months and this year was no exception. October was the harbinger of the festivities, and naturally, witnessed some heavy-duty promotions from various film studios. October was also a crucial one for the trade since not only did it boast some of the biggest releases of the year, it was also replete with many national holidays.

The month jump-started with a five-day weekend around the weekend of October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti), and making the most of this extended weekend were two films, Disney India’s Haider and Fox Star Studios’ Bang Bang. While the former was a Shahid Kapoor-Tabu-Shraddha Kapoor starrer from maverick director Vishal Bahrdwaj’s stable, the latter featured Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif in an adrenalin-pumping, action-packed remake of Hollywood film Knight And Day.

The next weekend saw three smaller releases – Jigariyaa, Ekkees Topon Ki Salaami and the Nikhil Dwivedi, Richa Chaddha starrer Tamanchey – followed by Mumbai 125 km and Sonali Cable.

Diwali coincided with Shah Rukh Khan’s heist comedy Happy New Year, with an ensemble cast including Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani and Vivaan Shah. Cinemas were occupied by two films, Roar– Tigers of Sunderbans and Rekha’s Super Nani – in the last week of the month.

Amid such a diverse gamut of releases, two films that outshone the others in terms of marketing and publicity were Happy New Year and Bang Bang. We arrived at this conclusion 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.

But the verdict was unanimous, and the marketing headed by Manish Kumar and PR teams at Red Chillies headed by Mandvi Sharma (regional media was handled by Prasar, a division of Universal Communication) for Happy New Year as their promotion emerged winner thanks to its success story at the ticket window.

Here’s the industry’s take on why these companies deserved laurels for the best-marketed film:

Vivek Rangachari, Producer, DAR Motion Pictures

For me it would be a tough call between Haider and Bang Bang. Hritik’s Bang Bang dares, initiated on Twitter, took over the social media as well as the press by rage. At the same time, an extremely controversial and sensitive issue laden Haider was presented to the audience with ease, the proof being its commercial acceptance, box office success and a non-controversial release and post release see through.

Krishna DK, Director

Happy New Year and Bang Bang were the two best- marketed films of October. The international markets are usually ignored by filmmakers but Shah Rukh Khan did everything he could to make sure that those places did not go unnoticed. I mean, who would have thought that having a full-fledged Bollywood concert would have helped promote a film? Bang Bang was also promoted quite well. The fact that it was a Hrithik Roshan-Katrina Kaif starrer already had its share of huge expectations and the first teaser nailed it for the film. The clever strategy to release one song after another also paid off, and to sum up, I think that’s how good promotion is done.

Abbas Burmawala, Director

Happy New Year was the best promoted film of the month. Shah Rukh went all over the world not to grab the attention of the audience. And the best part was that it was not merely the lead pair that travelled to several cities for the promotions.

Abhinay Deo, Director

The way Shah Rukh Khan promoted his film Happy New Year is outstanding. Despite its release last week, he is still pushing the film post-release. His USP is that he knows how to market his films and he knows where his core audience is. Many of our Hindi film stars have a huge fan base abroad but producers don’t think about tapping those markets. But Khan not only went overseas, he also earned revenues by holding lavish concerts.

Sajid (of Sajid Farhad), Director

This month, Happy New Year was promoted really well. Shah Rukh Khan was all over television channels. He knows exactly how to draw his audience to cinemas and it was a no brainer that this film had to be the best publicised film of October.

Atul Agnihotri, Producer

Bang Bang and Happy New Year are the two films which were promoted very well. First, both these films had a stellar star cast, and they both had very unique strategies to push their films. Hrithik and his innovative Bang Bang dare became a rage on social media sites and created a stir for the film, while Shah Rukh Khan’s mega promotional blitzkrieg with Slam The Tour took the overseas audience by storm.

Kumar Taurani, Producer

Happy New Year was promoted really well. Moreover, the entire cast was involved in the promotional activities. Not just Shah Rukh and Deepika Padukone but the entire team went to TV channels, events and overseas. In fact, even some of the brand endorsements were carried out with the whole team. This made the audience sit up and take notice.

Rajesh Thadani, Multimedia Combines

Happy New Year is the best promoted film of October. No other film indulged in overseas promotions the way Shah Rukh Khan did. Domestically too, the entire cast was all over TV channels and made several city tours across the country. It all worked in favour of the film, due to which it received a good opening.

Jeetu Khandelwal, Movie Pioneers

Happy New Year was promoted really well because Shah Rukh Khan has a strong audience base among the family audience. Also, since the film released on Diwali, people went to watch the film with their families. The film was a solo release and it got the maximum number of screens too, so all the pre-release publicity paid off. Bang Bang was also marketed well. The film had an eye catching promotional strategy, which helped it break the clutter. The music of the film too played a very big role in pushing the film to the audience.

Brijesh Tandon, HK Tandon And Company

Happy New Year was promoted very well. The promotions were ample in newspapers, TV channels and on radio too. I think the marketing they did abroad also worked in favour of the film.

Surendra Saluja, Lakshya Movies

The best-promoted film of October has to be Happy New Year. The cast went on several TV shows and publicised their film. The team even came to visit a few malls and cinemas in our territory. It was a family film and was targeted at the family audience, so it worked.

Debashish Dey, Aum Moviez

Happy New Year has to be the best-promoted film of October. Shah Rukh Khan has a huge fan following in Kolkata and when the collections of the film dropped marginally on Monday, the actor took a smart step of visiting the city on Tuesday to get the excitement going. Thus, the collections picked up again. Slam The Tour was not only a smart way to ensure foreign publicity, in brought in money for the film too. And not just that, the fact that it was telecast in Indian homes raked in money from domestic satellite as well.

Harsh Jain, Sanman Group

I don’t think we have seen publicity better than that of HNY’s. Slam The Tour, SRK’s brainchild to woo the overseas audience, was a unique marketing strategy which actually had him earning off the overseas promotions. The efforts obviously paid off. Every TV channel had their songs playing, their trailers were also everywhere. It was a perfect Diwali release and the collections reflected that.



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