It’s going to be a crowded weekend with five films Force, Hum Tum Shabana, Chargesheet, Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster (SBG) and Tere Mere Phere jostling for attention. And in a bid to connect with small-town audiences, producer Sunil Bohra has come up with some innovative ground-level marketing campaigns.
“Since our film is about a sahib (husband) and biwi (wife), my father, Surendra Bohra, suggested a baraat (wedding procession) and since last Sunday, a bridal procession comprising 10-15 camels, around 20 horses, local autorickshaws and 200 people including the band party, has been touring the towns of Rajasthan like Jodhpur, Pali and Marwar. The promotional baraat that will continue till the release has drawn a tremendous reaction in places where electronic music channels have little impact,” points out Bohra.
A caravan of jeeps making its way through Punjab, a cyclothon in Chandigarh and local wall paintings in Haryana are creating similar buzz about SBG. “In bigger towns and metros like Nagpur, Chandigarh, Delhi and Mumbai, we have standees at top-line discotheques, bars, food joints and colleges where CDs of the film are being distributed for free,” informs the filmmaker.
Bohra is extremely confident of his film’s box-office chances despite the competition from the other films, in particular the John Abraham, Genelia D’Souza action thriller, Force. “That is a Rs 25 crore film while mine was made on a shoe-string budget of Rs 1.75 crore and with publicity-print Rs 5 crore,” he reasons. “I’ve already recovered 70 per cent of the cost and with Jimmy Sheirgil being the Salman Khan of Punjab with every film of his doing a business of around Rs 3 crore, I’m pretty sure of our film paying off royal dividends.”