Movie producers spend 35% of marketing budgets online

TheSmallBigIdea’s Harikrishnan Pillai talks about the role of social media in movie promotions

MUMBAI: Long gone are the days when people decided to go for the movies based on the life-size posters of their favourite ‘stars’ acting in them or watching 90-second long trailers on television. Today, the buzz around a movie starts even before it goes on the floor, all thanks to the ‘good friend’ social media, which allows the producers, directors, and actors to stay in constant touch with the fans through heightened social media activities. Starting from the photos of scripts on actor’s tables to snapshots from reading rooms, to release of the looks and names of the character, to teaser and trailers for not just the movie but individual songs as well, everything has found its way online, grabbing every eye that the movie can even before it goes off the floors. interacted with TheSmallBigIdea CEO and co-founder Harikrishnan Pillai, whose agency was associated with the digital promotions of National Award winning movie ‘Badhai Ho’ last year. More recently, it is making yet another Ayushmann Khurrana film—Bala—a talking point across every social gathering through amazing marketing activites.

Pillai says that the producers of today are very proactive when it comes to marketing their movies across all platforms, including digital. They are involved in every aspect of the movie promotions, beginning from the time their movie is announced.

“They are spending somewhere around 35 per cent on digital activities for promoting their movies, as digital gives them the opportunity of better mass targeting amongst a very interesting audience base. The activities online are interactive in nature and hence give them a better measurability of the ROI they get through marketing,” Pillai said.

On being questioned how controversies around such campaigns impact the execution online, as the audience reactions are real-time, Pillai said that the core strategies remains intact, while certain tactical moves maybe taken basis social sentiments.

TheSmallBigIdea has done promotional digital campaigns for a number of movies including Judgementall Hai Kya, Junglee, Jabariya Jodi, Dream Girl and is gearing up to take several more projects from big production houses.

Pillai belives that acumen around digital has also increased in the past few years and that gives the agencies to perform better online. “Earlier it was just a digital agency, that used to follow what the mainline agencies were doing, but today digital is leading. Also, brands are taking a leadership role. They are aware about the digital world and they know how it can help them,” he said.

Pillai is positive that marketing for movies on digital is going to only increase in the future with producers getting aware of the impact a strong social media strategy has on it.

He also added that the story is taking centre-stage in promotional campaigns than just the actors as production houses are now aware that the audience is willing to watch good stories and not just ‘stars’. According to him, the complete shift in focus from actor to story will still take some time, but a good start has been made in the industry.

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