Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ra.One, Marketing and Hysteria

Marketing is that one technique that can either make you or destroy you! Ra.One can be a very good example for the same. The movie was what it was. Some may call it a complete dud while the SRK fanatics still drool. But what made the movie work for me is its marketing. Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t seen the movie yet but I very clearly saw all the intense and well planned marketing Eros International, Red Chillies and SRK had been doing so far.

They key factor ensuring a movie’s success is marketing and Ra.One took very good care of that. Their marketing tie-up went up to almost 50 crores which included approximately 15 crores for online production. The movie changed the face of marketing in India and created new records for Bollywood.

Looks like King Khan just didn’t want anything to go wrong this time. And nothing really went wrong except that Ra.One did not please the critics and the audience (here, I am referring to the audience who likes good cinema and not SRK fanatics).

It’s safe to say that SRK shouldn’t try these experiments especially now that his “awe-inspiring” career graph is not pointing upwards. At this time, he has only two safe options. He should either take a grand retirement or just stick to movies like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kal Ho Na Ho, K3G, etc. that’s where people actually like him. Anything beyond that fails miserably.

Also, the kind of audience that watches Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan is a tad different. Since everyone is comparing Ra.One with Bodyguard, why should I stay behind? The point is Salman Khan is the hero of the masses. But when we talk about the Badshah, the audience that watches him is a bit on the upper side. You will not see SRK become play the role of a Bodyguard in any film. That is something Salman does and is appreciated for it. But when we talk about Shahrukh, his audience is different and has expectations. Which proves why the audience was disappointed with Ra.One. We all like the romantic Shahrukh. But the superhero Sharukh, not so much.

Coming back to the marketing aspect, the hotch-potch entertainment by King Khan is a huge marketing success. The 5-day weekend collection is anticipated to be around a hundred crore, as rivalled to Bodyguard’s 82 crore.

But one should not miss the wood for the trees. It is not the geeky tale or Akon’s Chammak Challo item numbers or the Shahrukh magic that made the movie. It is all that and much more. The selling is the secret of its success.

The two-year project had a marketing window of 10 months starting January 2011, wherein the release of the music, the gaming and merchandise, and Shah Rukh’s road shows followed a detailed time-table. For gaming, the producers tied up with Sony. Similarly, they had a tie-up with YouTube for promoting trailers. And if that’s not enough then they teamed up up with as many as 25 brands ranging from Videocon, Western Union and Star TV to Cinthol and Gitanjali Gems.

Seven months before its release, SRK kicked off the promotions with a 10-second trailer during the World Cup semi-final match between India and Australia, while Ra.One's first look was revealed by the star on his Twitter page on January 2011 along with an ad in a leading daily.

According to brand whizzes, the marketing blitzkrieg for Ra.One is a classic case of integrating a film into every aspect of people's lives. For instance, be it clothing, automobiles, games, sports, merchandising, there will be a part of the film involved.


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