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Facebook aims to be first choice for movie marketing, fan engagement

Indian film industry, especially Bollywood, is optimising social media assets as much as possible.

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MUMBAI:  Thursday morning Twitter was flooded with Karan Johar’s teaser tweet on his upcoming film Takht. Film marketing has changed so much over the time that fans are going gaga over a film which will be released after two long years. Not only Twitter but also other social media giants like Facebook and Instagram are becoming highly relevant for Hindi film marketing. Long gone are those days when the audience used to get information about an upcoming movie before a fortnight. Indian film industry, especially Bollywood, is optimising social media assets as much as possible.

Research company Ormax Media and Facebook India have launched a report titled 'Media Effectiveness in Hindi Film Marketing' that studies and correlates the actual box office collections to a movie's marketing mix. The research done independently by Ormax Media tracked the performance of nine media from both digital and traditional genre -  Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, television, print, in-theatre, radio & OOH. Six film campaigns including Judwaa 2, Secret Superstar, Golmaal Again, Ittefaq, Tiger Zinda Hai and Pad Man were tracked using the research.

The research went beyond analysing a film's marketing success, basis the elementary media metrics like impressions and readership, and also focused on evaluating awareness or buzz among the audience and their intent to watch or appeal of the movie.

The study found Facebook is one of the top three mediums among nine sample mediums in driving buzz and appeal for a film campaign. While buzz power stands for incremental awareness or discovery driven by the platform, appeal power stands for incremental interest in the audience via campaigns or content. Moreover, Facebook and Instagram combined proved to have delivered the highest impact with 21 per cent contribution to a Hindi film's first-day box office sales.

“The analysis was done for all nine media by extracting the buzz and appeal scores among those not aware of the film through that media. If the film’s actual first-day was X and the first-day without a particular media was projected as Y, the contribution of that media to the opening is X-Y. This contribution was calculated for all nine media,” the report reads.

While organic methods like link shares and conversations helped to achieve the success, initiatives like Facebook Live also played an important role. Dharma Productions, the producer of recent hit Dhadak created an event on the platform using the feature Scheduled Live for the trailer launch of the movie. The trailer got 8.9 million video views. Other than that, several movies including Padman, Tiger Zinda Hai used Facebook Stories to engage fans.

Akshay Kumar, a loyal Facebook user recently launched the trailer for his upcoming movie Gold on IGTV along with using Facebook Live.

“Facebook is a great place for fans to directly connect with their favourite stars and movies and drive reach and more engagement. We aim to become the go-to destination for celebrities and movie marketers to promote and connect with their followers in an authentic way and experience the power of organic content and first-hand interactions,” Facebook APAC entertainment partnerships head Saurabh Doshi said.

In case of any movie marketing campaign, Facebook typically divides it into three phases. While the first phase is about making users aware of the movie’s existence, second is about making relevant people engaged and the final phase is converting those users as actual moviegoers.

Production houses leverage various Facebook features to create more engagement. Yash Raj Films uses Facebook for premium music through its weekly jukebox property where it streams full-length albums and music videos over a Facebook live. Red Chillies Entertainments experimented with the messenger bot for its movie Jab Harry Met Sejal where it used Shah Rukh Khan as the voice and face of the bot. Fox Star India also markets its films with gamification of the bot with videos, music, dialogues, and quizzes. Even the company created an AR Filter for movie Sanju where fans could get into the look of Sanjay Dutt using the filter.

Facebook also partnered with PVR Cinemas to create a medium where celebrities could engage with the audience sitting in theatres. Under the partnership, the Facebook live of celebrities were broadcast on cinema screens. To make the engagement lively, Facebook also leveraged technology using physical cameras in cinema screen itself where the screen was tilted half and half so the celebrity also could see the audience sitting in the theatre. It launched the product with Dharma Productions for the film Raazi.

Facebook’s relevance for marketing is not limited to big shot production houses, celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Akshay Kumar and film fraternity.  Anupama Chopra’s movie review company Film Companion, MissMalini, Pink Villa, also leverage the Facebook community to engage in active conversations. The musician community of record labels, bands, independent artists also use the platform. Top examples include Maatibani, Sona Mahapatra, T Series who have created buzz and increased discoverability of their content through various initiatives on Facebook.

It is no wonder given the rapid growth of internet and smartphone users that social media platforms will emerge as key players in digital marketing. Facebook standing with 217 million users every month is definitely going to acquire stronger foothold in near future.

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