Parmanu, October, Pari, Pad Man: No more channel hopping for promotions, says film fraternity
It isn’t only the content that’s changing in Bollywood films, but also the manner of promoting that content in the pre-release stage. The nonstop promotions through reality shows or TV serials have given way to a more subtle strategy. Filmmakers no longer make a fuss about going from one channel to another to promote a film ahead of its release.
TV’s reach is still used, but it’s no longer a bombardment; instead, actors now make guest appearances on shows in different languages to tap into new sets of audiences or make an appearance of a finale of a popular reality show that has a wider reach.
Actor Rishi Kapoor, whose 102 Not Out released this year, has two more films out soon. He feels that this “mindless” promotional spree is “wasting time and money”. He says, “It is herd mentality — one or two people did it in the beginning and it became a tradition that we must visit every channel to sell our film. But viewers are very smart and sharp and they won’t fall for such gimmicks.”
Recent films such as Pad Man, Pari, 102 Not Out, October, and Parmanu took the road less travelled and were not seen all over the place on small screen. The industry feels that it’s because actors and filmmakers now understand their target audience better.
October’s producer Ronnie Lahiri says, “The number of reality shows have increased manifold, so it’s nearly impossible for one single film or actor to cover all of them. Hence, it’s important to select the ones based on the content and appeal of your film. For our film, knowing Varun Dhawan’s following among youngsters, we launched one of our songs on a dance show’s grand finale, which helped us reach out to a larger audience.”
Filmmaker Vipul Shah, who has produced films such as Force 1 and 2, Commando 1 and 2 and Holiday, feels that “it can’t be just a blanket template”. He adds, “Shows have their independent tracks, so, unless there’s a perfect alignment and marketing match with a particular show, it won’t add to the promotional value of the film. The show has to be close to film’s storyline or the narrative otherwise it’s a waste of time.”
There have also been cases where the film’s producers happen to back a TV show, so in one-off incidents, actors may or may not appear on that show.
Varun Gupta, Founder-Director of MAX Marketing, who has marketed several films, puts thing in perspective and says “we try and focus on the content fitment and ratings to take a call on it.” He goes on to elaborate, “These promotions shouldn’t become integration of the star/actor in question over integration of the film and it is the content. For instance, for Pad Man, we chose a Marathi show over a mainstream Hindi show and a special on News channel instead of GEC [Genral Entertainment Channels] integration, as we wanted the taboo topic to be discussed there in detail and not just appear for the sake of recall. For Pari, there was no point going to any of the show, as the genre [horror] of the film and the way we pitched it was very different.”
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