Marketing is the big buzzword in Bollywood, and there’s no doubt that it has even been proven to be rather crucial in making or breaking a film (read BO status of hit or flop). In such a marketing driven scenario, it’s hardly surprising to know that the film promotions and marketing ratio is almost catching up with the entire filmmaking costs. In fact, in the case of big ticket movies, the marketing budgets are equivalent to a budget of an entire small film.
With such lavish budgets at hand, filmmakers are now not shying away from going a step further than the cross-country promotions — they are now including several foreign destinations in their itinerary. Countries boasting huge NRI audiences like Dubai and London are emerging to be the favourite promo-spots. As a result, film premieres apart, stars are now country-hopping as regularly to promote their films as they were city-hopping in the country.
Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap took his films to the Mecca of film screenings, Cannes, where guests got a taste of the gamchha, meanwhile actors Priyanka Chopra and Shahid Kapoor are currently touring Dubai and London to promote their film Teri Meri Kahaani. Films like Ra.One, Ready and several others were even premiered abroad. Actor Vidya Balan had almost created a record of sorts when she had given more than 40 interviews in a day while promoting The Dirty Picture in Dubai. And while several Hollywood stars are coming down to India to promote their films like Tom Cruise did, our desi actors are headed abroad.
Filmmakers and trade analysts attribute it to: the sky-rocketing film promotion budgets; tapping the booming overseas market; the grants and concessions given by the government of these countries as it helps promote tourism.
“Mani Ratnam’s Ravan was one of the first films to be premiered in London,” point out insiders and since then several films have also been premiered there including Ra.One. “In the case of stars like Shah Rukh Khan or Salman Khan, who have a very strong fan base among NRIs, the market abroad is as big as the markets here. So, it makes sense for them to promote their films there,” explains trade analyst Komal Nahta. He also adds that filmmakers are also exploring the film awards circuit “ensures that there’s enough publicity and a positive response from the industry itself.”
Talking about it, filmmaker Kunal Kohli says that since the films have a huge fan following and big market abroad, it was obvious to include the international cities in their promotional plans. Kashyap seconds it. “Why just countries with Indian diaspora, we intend our films to reach out further and beyond the regular tapped markets for film promotions and release,” he says.