A media-shy Kajol and Aamir Khan chat on primetime across all channels about their new film and their lives. With that, Fanaa, the film whose publicity machinery chose to be silent in the run-up to its release, more than makes up for the silence in one go.
One reason for the silence was that the film’s lead actors are not media-friendly, but the real reason was that it was a well-thought out strategy that was aimed at building up the pre-release curiosity.
Films as brands
Today, when a film is almost a brand, marketing and PR agencies leave no stone unturned to up the ante. Says Prabhat Choudhary of Spice, a marketing communication agency whose clients include Yash Raj Films, UTV and PNC: “Film marketing is important in the age of free market economy where films are brands that have to be carefully marketed.” Adds Parull Gossain, publicist for film companies and actors, “Every production house has its own philosophy and we’ve to work keeping that in mind.”
Earlier, interviews with the stars of the film used to be the biggest promotion vehicle, but now innovative methods, like tie-ups with products, are being used. Says director Deepak Tijori, “Besides paid publicity, joining hands with TV shows helps.” Saif Ali Khan appeared in Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin as a cartoonist (Hum Tum) and Preity Zinta became an RJ for a week (Salaam Namaste).
Public knows best
While this branding is not new, the emphasis is on standing out in the crowd as the fight for mindspace grows fiercer. However, no marketing strategy can make a bad film work. A recent example is Ankahee, which was plugged as Sushmita Sen-Vikram Bhatt story. To quote Aamir Khan, “The audience finds its own way to see a film which deserves to be seen. Nobody can make them watch it otherwise. The public knows best.”