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Mary Kom punches home as best promoted film in September

It was a unanimous decision this time – according to almost all industry experts, Priyanka Chopra-starrer Mary Kom produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures was the best-marketed film in the month of September. The film garnered plenty of eyeballs, starting with its first poster launch. And the release of the trailer thereafter only added more punch to the film’s buzz.

The fact that the film was a biopic of a living legend and sportsperson, Mary Kom not only struck a chord with the audience, but Kom’s involvement, which the studio’s marketing and promotional strategies added fuel to the expectations around the film. Leading lady Priyanka Chopra too travelled across cities to push the film and the music also grew slowly yet steadily.

There were quite a few prominent films which hit the marquee last month, prominent among them being Finding Fanny, Creature 3D, Daawat-e-Ishq and Khoobsurat. The common ground among all these films was that they were mostly women-centric. So the competition was uniform yet razor-sharp. While all these films went guns blazing to market their products, the smaller releases including 3AM, Balwinder Singh... Famous Ho Gaya, Chaarfutiya Chhokare and Desi Kattey also did their share of promotions.

Now, 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 September. And, as we do every month, it’s time to rate the best-marketed film in September. 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. Over to them:

Ajay Bahl, Director

Mary Kom was one of the best promoted films as Priyanka Chopra was seen everywhere, on every platform, promoting the film. Whether with television or on-ground promotions, the makers went all out to promote the film. In fact, Mary Kom and Chopra promoted the film together, which is why the masses connected with the film very easily.

Anand L Rai, Director

In September we saw many niche films like Mary Kom, Finding Fanny, Daawat-E-Ishq and Khoobsurat, which needed intense promotional activities to connect with the audience. Of the lot, Mary Kom was best promoted. Another film which was uniquely promoted was Sonam Kapoor’s Khoobsurat. Since she is a fashionista, the makers promoted the movie by tying up with fashion brands.

Nitesh Tiwari, Director

Since Priyanka Chopra’s first poster as Mary Kom released, the film created a lot of buzz followed by the trailer. Everyone was eagerly waiting to watch this film. Apart from Mary Kom, Finding Fanny and Khoobsurat were also promoted very well. Finding Fanny had some interesting promotional activities.

Umesh Shukla, Director

The month of September saw films which needed intense promotions as they all had a story to tell and most of them had powerful actresses. According to me, Mary Kom and Finding Fanny were the best promoted films, as both the actresses were seen everywhere promoting their films. Also, their trailers stood out from the rest. I believe Finding Fanny catered to a limited audience and limited its box-office numbers. But the film had a lot of potential.

Abhinay Deo, Director

Every film was marketed well in their own way. Finding Fanny was uniquely promoted with the song Shake your bootiya. In fact, Yash Raj Films did massive promotions for Daawat-E-Ishq and even used a food trip to popularize the film. But, in the end, a film has to hold its own and if a film is good, there’s nothing better than good ‘word-of-mouth’.

Sheel Kumar, Partner, JA Entertainment

Finding Fanny was the best-promoted film in September. Deepika Padukone and Arjun Kapoor are big stars, and the songs of the film picked up very well. But the movie had a limited audience reach, which is why the collections didn’t turn out as expected. Apart from Finding Fanny, Mary Kom was also well promoted.

Harsh Jain, Sanman Group

Mary Kom was promoted very well. The film looked promising from day one since the posters hit the Internet. The film is a biopic on the living legend boxer Mary Kom so obviously it created a huge amount of interest among the audience when it was announced. The trailer was hard-hitting too. Besides that, Priyanka Chopra went all out to promote the film. The other big film that was marketed well was Khoobsurat. Daawat-e-Ishq was another big film but the promotional activities were dull. These days, brand associations alone are not enough. What matters most is the trailer and the music. If either or both manage to shine, nothing can stop a film from becoming a hit.

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

Mary Kom has to be the best marketed film of September. They played mainly on three elements – that the story was based on one of the few celebrated sportspersons we have in India, a story about an underdog, and the commercial angle with names like Priyanka Chopra and Sanjay Leela Bhansali associated with it. I think it was a mix of these three elements which was showcased in the trailer and it remained true to the core of the film. Chopra also travelled across cities to promote the film, which further upped the ante.

Rajesh Thadani, Multimedia Combines

Mary Kom was marketed very well. The film also has a very human connect. Priyanka Chopra went all out to promote the film across channels and several events. Another film which was marketed well was Khoobsurat. But, at the end of the day, marketing should help a film’s box-office numbers and clearly Mary Kom’s effective marketing did it for the film.

Debashish Dey, Aum Moviez

The film with the best marketing strategy has to be Mary Kom. It was based on sports and Priyanka Chopra did several shows to promote the film. The good thing also was that they involved Mary Kom herself to be a part of the promotions. This heightened the intrigue factor. Khoobsurat was also promoted well and actor Fawad Khan’s popularity thanks to his TV appearances helped a lot. While Mary Kom’s strong marketing made it successful at the box office, Khoobsurat’s marketing didn’t work in its favour.

Sanjay Mehta, Bobby Arts International

Mary Kom was marketed very well. Its release was perfectly timed as Mary Kom was preparing for the Asiad Games, where she won a Gold medal just last week. Also, even though it was a biopic, the film was a commercial product as well. It was also a while since Priyanka Chopra played a full-fledged role. She was last seen only in a song in Ram Leela. Thus her fans, who had missed seeing her in a hard-hitting role, flocked to cinemas for Mary Kom and that obviously helped the film. While promoting the film, Chopra was present across almost all media vehicles and she along with Mary Kom herself went to a lot of promotional events. They even came to our circuit (Delhi) and hosted a huge event.

Sunil Bansal, Yash Raj Jai Pictures

Mary Kom looked promising from the day it was announced. Human interest stories like these generate a lot of curiosity among the audience. The teaser, trailer and the Ziddi song were very impactful. The trailer ran across all channels including news channels. The music was also used effectively across radio stations. It was a film with a social message so it appealed to the family audience. Finding Fanny was also publicised well, but it was Mary Kom which won the box office race.

Jeetu Khandelwal, Movie Pioneers

Mary Kom is the obvious choice for the best-promoted film because it was a different film with a hard-hitting marketing campaign. It resonated with people who didn’t even know who Mary Kom was and they got to know about her and her inspirational real life story through this film. Priyanka Chopra went all out to promote the film on TV and on ground too. There was a certain buzz about the film since the trailer went on air. It just had to do well at the ticket counter.

Vivek Rangachari, Producer, DAR Motion Pictures

One of the best marketed movie in September would be Viacom 18’s Mary Kom, as Priyanka Chopra and the entire team broke all conventional norms while promoting the film. Apart from the usual promotional stuff the feature which caught my attention was, she never tried overshadow the actual Mary Kom, Priyanka always tried to play her shadow and diverted all praises to the boxer. The promos and the posters were also very detailed and reflected the actual Mary Kom and the hardships she faced to come out successful. Also Priyanka made sure the boxer was present at all major events which showed great character from Priyanka. Also the hard work which Priyanka put in with regards to her body was well portrayed and the way Priyanka carried herself and spoke about women being the epitome of strength struck a chord with people.



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