New Delhi: Eros International has reached the last leg of the five-month marketing campaign it carried out for director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s epic war drama Bajirao Mastani.
The focus now is on localized promotions and reaching every home in the country with the visibility that the small screen provides.
Having brought out a teaser in July, the Mumbai-based film studio went on to elaborate song launches, fashion shows, digital innovations and even a visit to the royal family in Jaipur besides releasing their trailer last month for the film that it has co-produced along with Bhansali.
“Now is the time to not just build on the reach, consistency and buzz we’ve already created for the film but also to go all-out with our localized promotions," said Prerna Singh, chief marketing officer, Eros International.
Apart from constantly playing the film’s trailer in theatres, the first step towards this is to reach the Hindi-speaking audiences of the country through general entertainment channels. Lead actors Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone recently visited the sets of Swaragini, a romantic soap that airs on Colors and Singh was also spotted on the channel’s reality show Bigg Boss. He will soon be seen hosting two episodes of the crime reality anthology series Crime Patrol on Sony Entertainment Television.
Besides, the team is looking seriously at thematic promotions in smaller towns of the country. First there is the Mirchi Music Awards in Amritsar to be telecast live on PTC (Punjabi TV Channel) where the movie’s team shall engage with and activate the public and the media in north India. There are also plans to participate in Agenda Aaj Tak, a high-profile conclave organized by the news channel.
Beginning their city-wise tours for the localized promotions, the team is travelling on Thursday to Ahmedabad where Ranveer Singh will be performing to Malhari, the victory track from the film featuring Singh, and the cast will have interactive sessions at the Sabarmati river in what Singh calls “an amphitheatre ambience." The team is travelling to Lucknow soon.
The idea is to find a flavour and attraction in each city and marry it with attributes of the film, as in the case of Sabarmati, which Singh claims will provide several talking points. There is a Filmfare Awards-related press conference in Delhi on 12 December that the cast will attend and a special music event in the capital where the film’s singers will perform.
“Going to these small towns, which they’ve obviously chosen strategically will generate many talking points. If you travel to say, Lucknow, you also simultaneously activate Kanpur and Meerut because there is such great local connect," said Vinit Karnik, national director, entertainment, at media buying company GroupM.
The time the stars gave to travel and these local promotions would meet the dual objectives of having one-on-one interactions and more personal experiences and creating content for television audiences locally and nationally, Karnik said.
Singh admitted there was a reason they kept these local promotions to the end of the campaign. “The idea is to not just gather a crowd when you visit some place but for people to know the film that you’re talking about, to create the right level of awareness and engagement. And these things definitely track closer to release," she said.
When it comes to brand associations, Eros is trying to be selective. “We believe the film is bigger than anything else so we instead have more media partners who have come on board purely on the basis of their overpowering faith in the content and the fact that we’ve managed to communicate our vision to them," Singh said.
Market leaders like the Hindi-language daily newspaper Dainik Bhaskar in the north, news channel Aaj Tak and entertainment channel Colors have partnered with the film at deals whose value Singh did not disclose.
Ultimately, it’s the product that matters. “It goes without saying that we have huge expectations from the film. Our content has been tracking very well, whether you look at the Bigg Boss Pinga moment with Ranveer Singh and Salman Khan or Dubsmash videos of our main dialogue, the response has been overwhelming," said Singh, adding that releasing alongside Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Dilwale is not a cause for worry.
While Karnik agreed the two films had a clear three-week window to get their due in theatres, the only sector that may be adversely impacted would be the exhibitors. “That’s because they charge for commercial time linked to film releases. They will now have advertisers for two films together that could have been spread over weeks."