10 March : When social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have become an essential part of everyday life of many, can the Bollywood industry be far behind in using them to reach out to people?
The social networks has become a promotional tool for films, are the most happening places these days and the stars in the Hindi film industry have started using them.
So we have Aamir Khan chatting live on Facebook with his fans about his film ‘3 Idiots’ and Amitabh Bachchan playing card games to promote his film ‘Teen Patti’.
“Promoting films via these sites are an attempt to attract the entertainment consuming audience between the age of 15 and 30. The youth of today is hooked on to social networking sites and this is the best way to reach them,” said Rahul Razdan, Vice President-Communication & Gaming, Ibibo.
The site allows six players to play Teen Patti live simultaneously with Bachchan on a virtual table while sitting anywhere in the country.
According to Razdan, this act of promoting the film stands to benefit the site as well.
“Teen Patti is an Indian card game which we had launched on our site few months ago. But when this film came along, the number of players went up by 100 per cent. When it is somebody like Mr Bachchan inviting the youngsters to play, traffic on the site definitely increases,” Razdan said.
Alongwith Ibibo, other sites like Bigadda and Zapak are also making a mark in marketing Bollywood movies.
“These days a film has only one weekend to prove whether it is a hit or a miss. Digital medium helps create perceptions in a short time,” said Shivanandan Pare, COO of Bigadda.
Aamir was given the identity of the ‘Pakka Idiot’ on Facebook, where he could engage in live chats with almost half a million fans.
The promotional activities went on even after the film was released.
“Certain dialogues from the movie had become very popular and they were used as status updates on Facebook. This was the first time that such a thing was done,” said Arun Mehra, COO, Zapak Digital Entertainment, who handled the digital marketing
of ‘3 Idiots’.
The biggest advantage which the social networks have over traditional media like print and television is that it provides a platform for the user to participate.
“Mass media like TV, print and radio helps in creating a buzz. But social networks do much more. The user can be involved in the act of promotion, interact with the stars,
play games, etc,” said Pare.
The youth network Bigadda, which handled the 360 degree promotion of ‘Love Aaj Kal’, enabled users to record love messages for the film’s stars Deepika Padukone and Saif Ali Khan and also chat with them.
Social networks also allow one to record the feedback of users and find out exactly how much impact it has had on the consumers.
“We did an ad-hoc survey post the movie’s release and found that 93 per cent of the people who had played the ‘3 Idiots’ game on Zapak had actually come to watch the movie,” said Mehra.