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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Marketing madness grips Bollywood

Medha Shri Dahiya, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 23, 2013
First Published: 17:56 IST(23/11/2013) | Last Updated: 18:01 IST(23/11/2013)

With Dhoom 3 songs not going on air at all, publicity gimmicks just got stranger...

It’s a comic ... it’s a doll...
oh wait, it’s a movie! No matter how average the movie or how shy a star, the smartest of film marketing gurus seem to be on a never-before rampage to outdo each other when it comes to inventing  strategies to create ample buzz.

We’ve been through over-the-top antics such as jet skiing into a press meet on a yacht (Akshay Kumar for Boss) to Vidya Balan overdoing her character act, but this time, other firsts have outdone all that. The makers of Dhoom 3 have decided to release no songs altogether — whether it’s on TV, radio or the internet. And, Saif Ali Khan has just released a graphic novel called ‘The Legend of Bullett Raja’!

Clever merchandise
From toys to dolls and comics to jewellery — every movie now offers a whole range of merchandise to choose from. The market is flooded with Krrish 3 dolls modelled on actors Hrithik Roshan and Kangana Ranaut, and now Dhoom 3 is out with its Aamir Khan and Katrina dolls (left). And that’s not all. It might look like most unusual piece of merchandise for a superhero flick, but Krrish 3 has also launched movie-related jewellery (top)! And here’s the latest — last we’d heard, Saif Ali Khan was only ‘thinking’ about a Bullett Raja comic series, but now we hear a full-fledged graphic novel based on the movie is already on stands!

Clever commercials
Dhoom 3 is only giving out 30-second teasers to its songs — no full releases of the movie’s tracks. Not on television, radio, the web, not even at promotional events, says a news release issued by the makers of the flick.

The makers of Dhoom 3 say this has been done to “not take away attention from the film itself”. “Audiences will be able to see the full song only in the film,” reads an official statement from the team. This trick is a total turnaround from  the previous practice of promoting songs to the fullest in order to draw crowds, and that of special item numbers and title tracks featuring sensational stars, created only for publicity purposes.

Clever promotions
While some films have their entire starcast appearing in every show on the tube, every press office and every town, suddenly, some have decided to leave out some actors from the promotions. For instance, Abhishek Bachchan — who has been a prominent part of the Dhoom franchise — has been absent from promotions, making tongues wag on if co-star Aamir is trying to sideline him.  However, it was later revealed that it was part of the original plan, in consent with all the stars and the marketing team,  that only Katrina and Aamir will be present. Likewise, Imtiaz Ali’s Highway will not see its lead star Randeep Hooda in any press interviews, this year.

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