'Web Wise': Internet could be a buzz maker or killer

Monday, 26 November 2012 - 1:13pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Be it a small or big-budget film, online activity is creating a buzz but whether it’s really working in the long run is under the scanner.
  • dna

Aamir Khan, who’s known for his out-of-the-box film promotion ideas is reportedly in talks with Google to replace ‘search’ for its India homepage with Talaash.

Meanwhile, Gangs of Wasseypur had held special screenings for bloggers and kept in constant touch with the audience through social media. Be it a small or big-budget film, online activity is creating a buzz but whether it’s really working in the long run is under the scanner.

With the increasing presence of multiplexes, movies enjoy a maximum theatre run of two to three weeks. This means the ‘word of mouth’ needs to generate buzz even before the film releases! With limited advertising budgets, marketers are increasingly relying on the internet and social media managers to ensure that fans are continually fed information about a film via various online touch-points.

A lot of independent low-budget films that we could have missed out on are coming into the limelight, thanks to online marketing. Sahil Rizwan, online columnist with Mumbai Boss who is famous for his stick figure movie reviews says, “Personally, I find the information availability to be a big boon! I get recommendations for movies that I might never have heard of or bothered to watch before, from people whose opinions I trust.”

He also confesses that there is a downside too, “There is definitely the flipside where all the trailers, and clips, and reviews pretty much spell out the entire movie before the release. But you learn to filter these things out and avoid them if you’re really interested. Like, I’d definitely stay away from my site if it was a Bollywood film I was planning to watch.”

The junta however has a different take. Pallavi Arora, a PR professional says, “A film outing with snacks and travel almost costs Rs1000 a head. I’d rather check the reviews online or seek opinions from friends who have already watched the movie and go for a movie that gives me my money’s worth.”

Hollywood too seems to be in the throes of the power of the internet. Gary Kurtz, veteran producer of Star Wars says, “Before the internet, all the film promotion was through TV spots, billboards, print media and trailers. Now, people know about films while they are being shot, because the actors tweet and blog about it,” he says.

“The word about the film is out there in the market much before it comes out. It can be a good thing and a bad as the audience forms a judgment even before seeing the film,” he adds.

Good or bad, the web will continue to be a source of movie afficionados to get the latest gossip, info and more. And as they say, any publicity is good publicity.

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