Marketing Ideas

5 Marketing Ideas From Bollywood

Bollywood. One of the biggest movie-making machines in the world, active since the 1900s. If you thought Bollywood was all about the glamour and the fantasy; you are a tad off the mark. At the end of the day, movies are a business. And like every other industry, the ones that rake in the moolah are the ones that outshine their competitors. It’s a cutthroat race to get the best Friday opening, but even that isn’t enough. You have to keep your audience hooked till the D-day with trailers and teasers and promotions. It’s a tough world out there!

But you already know all this, don’t you? Say what you may about the movies we produce, but you cannot deny the might of the Bollywood juggernaut. Or its marketing ideas for that matter. For a true-blue Indian, there is no better place to learn the tips and tricks of marketing than the movie industry. Here, we have distilled some marketing ideas and nuggets of wisdom for you that would prove immensely helpful to any new business taking on the Goliaths. Read and learn!

1. Bang Bang Your Way to Attention

Brand Recall – You must have heard this term quite often, but your brand is lost unless you know how to create it. The 2015 movie Bang Bang brought social media to the fore of movie marketing. The crazy dares that the movie’s lead actor put up on his Twitter handle for his colleagues kept us all giggling like school girls, right up to the movie’s release. The movie’s plot hinged primarily on the main character’s daredevil acts and asking famous actors to be part of the adventure only highlighted this fact.

Post-2015, many actors have used social media and similar marketing ideas to proactively to promote their movies. A recent case in point, the ‘shashiwashere’ hashtags that made waves on Instagram when the movie Phillauri was about to release. The posts were a witty and, at times, hilarious take on the movie’s central theme. And a perfect way to create brand recall for a movie that was slightly different than the norm.

2.Look After Your English Vinglish

So, we told you how helpful word-of-mouth publicity is. But people will only talk about your brand if you have good English Vinglish… err, we mean a good product. How did a movie like English Vinglish with an actor from the 90s even manage to keep afloat, when so many others have drowned? Some of it was nostalgia, true, but most of it was the slick storytelling and the relatable content of the movie.

The same is true for a brand as well. None of your marketing gimmicks will work unless your product itself is gold. The millennial customer is no spring chicken. There are many avenues available to the average buyer to rant against an untrustworthy brand. Unless you want to meet the same fate, you will heed our advice and dot your ‘I’s and cross your ‘T’s to perfection. Translated, that means always focus on your product/service/content first before you start publicising it. When your product is worth talking about, the good reviews and customer love will surely follow.

3. K K K Kliches Work, But Add a Dose of Andaz Apna Apna

The boy meets girl story, the bad boy with a heart of gold, self-discovery and redemption, eternal love – these are stereotypes and tropes that have worked for centuries, and still, continue to tug at our heart strings. Why? Because they make a movie relatable. In a world of make-believe, these familiar plotlines are our anchors. Cliches work, period.

Your brand has a story, and when people buy your product they are also buying your brand’s story. If you are Batman, then you need to have an origin story. And for maximum impact, your origin story should have a relatable and familiar plotline, with a liberal dose of individuality. Romantic movies have been made for aeons now, and there will still be more of them. Each of them is similar, and yet each is different in the way the story is told. As the author Andre Gide once noted; “Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again“. Make this the mantra of your brand. Remember that some clichés can actually work in your favour if you use them wisely. It’s not always necessary to create a new story. Sometimes, you can bring a fresh perspective to an old tale and still win the day. Choose your story wisely, and you will have many bards (*cough* *customers* *cough*) singing your praises.

4. When in A Crunch, Just Lunchbox It

If you are familiar with Bollywood jargon, you will know that there are two broad categories of movies – the big budget productions, and the ‘sleeper hits’. For those not familiar with movie lore, a ‘sleeper hit’ is a movie that has no big names associated with it and isn’t backed by the marketing ideas of a million-dollar production firm. It rallies solely on the word-of-mouth publicity it garners from theatregoers and critics. Take the movie Queen. It created a new female superstar in the industry almost overnight. It brought in a wave of women-oriented storytelling and made it fashionable to call yourself a feminist. Sans any big bucks, mind you.

Similarly, the movie The Lunchbox too made it to the top of the list because no one could stop talking about it. Yes, it does take a while for movies like this to break even as compared to other productions. But the lesson to be learnt here is that your brand doesn’t have to suffer oblivion just because you do not have the marketing budget yet to make a huge splash. There are many innovative ways and out-of-the-box marketing ideas to get the publicity mill churning, and budget should never be a constraint for creating brand awareness. Don’t believe us? Hear what first-time author Rebecca Donovan has to say about the power of word-of-mouth marketing:

5. Don’t Forget Dashavataram

Not literally. What we mean is that once you have your basics in place, don’t get complacent and try to stick to a single winning formula. Reinvent. You don’t have to have ten different avatars of your product, but two or three different forms wouldn’t hurt. Markets change. Target audiences grow up and have different expectations. And competition! How can you forget those evil villains in the path of your success?

Inarguably, you can be a lot less melodramatic about change than we are. But, change you must. Whether it is a simple thing like revamping your website UI or creating a YouTube channel for your brand, or a huge pivot in your product planning; constant reinvention is key. Your brand will be relegated to antiquity and buried as a fossil if you do not keep up with the times.

Did these marketing ideas help you plan your brand’strategy? Do write in if you have any more tips to share, or if you need expert assistance with a project. We’re always glad to be of help!


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