A glance into Alia Bhatt Instagram stories gives a sneak peak of her upcoming movie ‘Kalank.’ Similarly, the social media pages of Shah Rukh Khan are full of bits about his upcoming movie 'Zero'.
Social media is helping film stars and filmmakers create an unparalleled buzz around their movies. And the kind of explosion the industry has seen on the back of cheap mobile data in the last two years has made platforms such as Facebook and Instagram much more important for film marketing than any other media.
So what does this revolutionary power of digital media have on film marketing?
Ormax Media and Facebook recently launched a report titled “Media Effectiveness in Hindi Film Marketing.” According to the report, Facebook is one of the top three mediums driving buzz and appeal around a film campaign. Facebook and Instagram, together, proved to have delivered the highest impact with 21% contribution to a Hindi film’s first day box office sales. The research was conducted over a period of 27 weeks from August 2017 to February 2018. It tracked the performance of nine mediums, including both traditional and digital media. The impact was measured on two aspects: buzz and appeal.
Gautam Jain, Partner, Ormax Media said, “The study had a comprehensive scale with over 25,000 movie goers surveyed across several cities, demographics and strata in a six-month effort, evaluating the performance of nine media on the basis of impact created in driving movie ticket sales. As per the findings of the report, Facebook is one of the top two media in driving a movie's buzz and appeal, achieving it through organic methods like link shares and conversations, apart from initiatives like Facebook Live.”
“Mobile is what that’s driving digital upwards. Over 90 per cent of our user base is on the mobile,” said a Facebook spokesperson.
Digital media has surely created a new parallel universe of viewers who are always on the lookout for immediate, interesting and engaging content.
Akshay Kumar during the movie ‘Padman’ had extensively used social media for the promotions. The trailer got 20 million views on Facebook. Akshay Kumar used different platforms to share the core idea of the film.
Facebook’s entertainment sections don’t stop at films, its vertical covers music, celebs, events and ecosystem. Music is one such thing that binds the country together. Facebook has given a new meaning to music. Facebook lives are being used by the film studios in album launches. Recently, Sona Mohapatra took suggestions from her fans in Facebook about her look for her new album. The video attracted 20k views. Earlier, people could watch IIFA when it was aired on their TV sets, but this year, the viewers could actually be with the stars in IIFA. Through Facebook lives, boomerangs, live booths, the viewers could enjoy the event in real time.
One of the most important and fresh buckets of Facebook is the ecosystem. Social media pages like Miss Malini and Film Companion work as community that consists of influencers, viewers and fans that actively post assets on these groups and also solicit suggestions regarding the contents. “The whole narrative of entertainment marketing has shifted to storytelling and community,” said a Facebook spokesperson.
Now-a-days, one can’t get up from sleep one week before the release of a film. The whole film team must create contents across the social media platforms to engage with their viewers. “What we and the filmmakers have realised that you need to build community even before the film releases,” said a Facebook spokesperson.
The influencers are using different innovative techniques to grab the attention of the audiences. AR and VR are the new waves in this smart phone-driven country. One of the things that Facebook tried for the film ‘Sanju’ was an AR filter, which gave the audience the look of Sanjay Dutt while he was in prison. Facebook is also trying to give its users a personalised way of interacting with the contents. During the promotions of ‘Harry Met Sejal,’ Facebook created automated personalised responses from Shah Rukh Khan for his fans who would message him in Messenger. Facebook also collaborates with marketing platforms like Paytm and Book My Show to send out promo codes and discount codes.
Saurabh Doshi, Head, Entertainment Partnerships, APAC, Facebook, said “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.”