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Interview: Sajay Moolankodan, Director, Go Fish Entertainment

How entertainment marketing is fast becoming the game changer, Sajay Moolankodan speaks in length.

With the Indian Media & Entertainment (M&E) industry expected to grow at a CAGR of 14% at Rs. 1,27,500 crore ($28 billion) by 2015, (FICCI-KPMG report), the filmwalahs are fast realising the importance of entertainment marketing. To some it might appear a glamorous ploy, but for those in the business, it’s a tough nut to crack every time. As the challenge is not only to think out- of- the- box with every new project in hand, but also to devise strategies befitting each and every set of the target audience.

Thus with six years in the industry, how the ball has shifted, explains Sajay Moolankodan, Director, Go Fish Entertainment in an exclusive interaction with Neha Saraiya of BestMediaInfo.com. Read the full excerpts:

Q) In a Big budget movie, these days around 30% of the production cost is kept aside as a budget for marketing. But what about the small budget movies that have limited money to spend on such activities. What marketing strategies do you suggest them?

Well, the key to any film marketing is innovative marketing. We have various big media budget films doing miserably at the box office so only innovative marketing will help any films to create an impact and not its media budget.  This is more applicable to smaller films as they work shoe string media budgets hence it is imperative to work on few innovative idea to create an impact. Besides that, producers have to consider their film as a product. Every product has its target audience and one has to work aggressively towards the target audience. Unfortunately, few follow set pattern of marketing. Online is huge platform that one should explore.

Q) You recently celebrated your six year anniversary in the field. How was the industry scenario when you started off? And what are the major changes that have taken place during this course?

First couple of years was really tough as the awareness of brand related marketing wasn’t clear with producers because of which they were very apprehensive. Even brands were unclear about the efficacies of brand - film marketing. A lot of time was invested to create awareness about the efficacies of brand marketing which affected the turnaround time for each project. Today, everybody is hands on with brand related marketing but the industry is still to evolve.  We are awaiting the transition from product placement to brand placement also awaiting various innovative ways of associating brands with films besides the regular in film placement. Once we evolve into this then this industry will grow and we have far more brands associating with films with much bigger budgets. Recently, few brands have started allocating annual budgets towards film association.

Q) Being en entertainment marketing consultancy, is there a constant pressure by clients to market their movie differently? Not to mention the Ghajini haircut given by Amir, or Abhishek's attempt of visiting six cities for Delhi 6 or the recent road trio of ZNMD. If yes, then how do you deal with it?

It’s always a tough task to come up with a win- win promotional campaign for brands and films. Every brand and film maker wants an innovative idea to promote the brand – film association.  We try our best to push ourselves to offer something which gives the project an edge over competition. At times, it works and at times, if doesn’t.

Q) It is also observed in cases, that sometimes the over-hype created due to promotional marketing of a movie, actually kills the product. What's your view on the same?

Yes, it does to films which have relatively mediocre or decent content. Over hype increases the expectation of the audience which means the content has to be very strong for it to achieve sustained box office result. A good strong content film will benefit from any kind hype but in case the content is decent or weak and it’s overly promoted then it might get a good opening but it will see a drastic fall in numbers within couple of days from release.

Q) With a lot of clutter existing in the conventional media, newer forms like Promotional vignettes, Publicity plug-ins, Standees, Co-branded advertising, Mobile marketing and Internet have emerged. Thus out of the total pie of marketing, how do you go about the bifurcation between the new and the traditional mediums?

Yes, very true that there is a major clutter in conventional media hence newer platforms have to be explored but it will take few years for brands and film producers to look at using newer platforms aggressively. Recently, a lot of film makers have opted to market their films online aggressively but TV still occupies the maximum budget of any film maker and brands associated with films. Approx 65% is spent on TV (out of which 30-40% is contributed by co branded advertising), 15% on print, 10% hoardings, 10% internet and others.

Q) Kindly give us some details about your upcoming projects and brand placements?

We are working on films like Bodyguard, Force, Rockstar, Housefull 2, Krrish 3 and Shree Ashtavinayak’s Cine vision next film with Rohit Shetty. We are already negotiating few deals with other big films releasing between October to December.  We are also working on various celebrity endorsements for various brands. Like recently, we signed John Abraham as the brand ambassador of Philips grooming Range. We are also on the verge of signing an international superstar to manage his portfolio in India.

Neha@BestMediaInfo.com

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