Digital marketing campaigns for Hindi movies

Last year the Hindi Film Industry better known as Bollywood  completed 100 glorious years in 2013.In these 100 years Bollywood has come a long way from the release of India’s first silent feature film Raja Harishchandra which was released with just 4 prints to 2014 where movies are releasing with 3500+ odd prints.

Bollywood is one of the biggest film Industry in the world with over 200 movies releasing each year. It’s obvious that with increase in number of releases each year and with growing movie options for cinemagoers, people now need to spend more on the marketing and communication  than they had to 60 years. It’s not just about posters and radio now, to tap your targeted audience you need to be around them 360 degree so that they can’t ignore you.

Digital and social media marketing have revolutionized the marketing of hindi movies. Even a low budget movie like Gangs of Wasseypur which was made on a shoestring budget of Rs. 9.2 crore exploited this medium immensely to use it for its advantage.

But it’s not just the low budget movies that are   making use of this medium even big budget movies are also spending loads of money to get audience to the nearest theatres. One of the earliest films to join this bandwagon was Red Chillies Entertainment’s Ra.One released in 2012.

According to a report in Business Today, Rs. 15 crores were allotted to the digital campaign alone, which made it evident that Shah Rukh Khan wanted to impress the technology and social media enthusiasts.

The film didn’t do well as expected but its digital campaign back in 2012 was the most discussed case study in Industry. Let’s look in detail the different social media platforms Ra.One utilized to reach its audience.

The Major spent was done by the brands associated with RA.One, more than 20 brands were associated with the movie and  each brand associated with movie spent around 2 crores.

Facebook: 187,288 + Fans

With so many people on Facebook it was obvious to market a movie on Facebook to reach the youth. But it was not just boring videos and photos from the movie’s promos and trailers, the Facebook campaign encouraged users to create their own pages, based on the first name of their alphabets, in the Name Alphabet(dot) one pages. Live streaming content & quizzes were introduced on page to keep the engagement level high.

The Facebook strategy also used the concept of creating privileged users, with their G.One Squad, a select community of G.One fans. The official Ra.One page also contains an embedded playlist and a link to the merchandise store.

Apart from the Ra.One Playstation game, they also released a social game to be released for Facebook, iPad, iPhone, and other platforms. The game was made by Indiagames with a development budget of Rs 4.5 crore.

 Twitter: 30,000 + Followers

Ra.One’s official Twitter page is hard to find   there’s so many! (All with official-looking tweets about the movie, with followers ranging in the hundreds to a few thousand).

Only over 2500 tweets old, the official page, @RaOneFanClub, had crossed 30,000 followers, said to be the most for any Bollywood movie.

Following the leak of Ra.One’s Chammak Challo’s rough version (which I think was intentional), even the song was trending on Twitter.

Youtube: +2,45,000 views

Ra.One,  wanted to leverage the full potential of digital media and create an experience on YouTube and Google+ that has never been done for any Indian film. The Ra.One team personally worked with the Google team to create a destination where their fans can enjoy from anywhere in the world.



Ra.One didn’t only post trailers on Youtube  It bought space on the world’s biggest video sharing site which is not available now, it was loaded with videos created exclusively for social sharing, SRK’s podcasts and trailers.

The Ra.One video page featured SRK in a VFX-enhanced Youtube video.There is a video on how the channel looked back then.

Google Plus:62 friends

Engaging audiences on Google Plus is another first for Bollywood, even as Shah Rukh Khan  become the first verified Indian celebrity on Google+. But the Google Plus search didn’t make it easy to find Ra.One, and there’s only the 62 friends. Yet, they organized a live video chat with fans before the release of the movie.

MySpace:54 friends

Myspace? Yes they did try to reach Indian audience. No

Orkut:253 friends

Orkut’s static functionality and boring interface doesn’t make for the best of Fans.

133 ‘scraps’ and 253 friends.

Nokia:Near Field Communication smartphones

The Symbian Belle OS Nokia phones were bundled with Ra.One content on their near field communications (NFC), a data-transfer technology. For Ra.One, that meant that over 400 Nokia priority outlets and partner multiplexes with NFC-tagged movie posters can deliver content straight to the phones – this includes songs from the Ra.One soundtrack, free of cost.

Apart from this various huge offline marketing campaigns were done like releasing the first teaser during India vs Australia quaterdinal during 2011 cricket world cup.

Well Ra.One team touched most of the relevant as well as irrelevant digital platforms to reach its audience.Well the movie didn’t fare well at the box office but Ra.One set the benchmark  in the field of Digital marketing for others to follow and till date no movie has even come closer to Ra.One.

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