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All for the sake of publicity

Filmmakers today are employing all means possible to corner the fickle film fan, writes Princy Jain.

india Updated: Nov 01, 2006 12:21 IST

It is a no escape situation for the cinema-goer. With the film traffic on Fridays increasing by the week, the options for the audience are not limited anymore.

Coupled with the fact that the shelf life of films has declined over the years, the filmmakers are now employing all means possible to corner the fickle film fan. So, what you have now is the blitzkrieg of film publicity, giving the audience not a single moment to forget about the film in question, both before and after the release.

Capture the mind:
JP Dutta’s Umrao Jaan and Farhan Akhtar’s Don are perfect examples of how best to bombard the audience with film information. For both these big films, the publicity has been planned in a phased manner.

Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan in a still from Dhoom II. 

While for Don, SRK made an appearance in a Mumbai mall and the first-ever multiplayer online game based on the film was launched, JP Dutta has released a coffee-table book on the making of Umrao Jaan. Says JP, “This book will give a better idea of the literature and language of the 19th century. A lot of which has gone into the making of the film and we wanted to share that with the people.”

About Don’s game, SRK had said, “It’s as exciting as the movie but here, you get to be part of the action.” On the other hand, director J P Dutta also plans an auction of the costumes of Aishwarya Rai in the film.

Good initials:
Does this really help in bringing people to the theatres? Says Tushar Dhingra of Adlabs (the distribution and marketing partners of Umrao Jaan), “While a prerelease exercise aids in a better opening, a post-release act keeps the title fresh in the people’s minds.”

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh calls it a step further in the merchandising of movies. “Success of the Fanaa and Krrish merchandise made the trend popular. With such heavy traffic of films, filmmakers are obviously keen on making the best of the opportunity.”

Of the forthcoming films, Yash Raj Films may launch a clothing line for Dhoom2 while a book on the making of Kaabul Express has been planned. In the absence of any long-lasting hit, it seems filmmakers are happy with just a good initial.

First Published: Nov 01, 2006 12:21 IST