Home Hyderabad Column Out-of-the-box-office promos

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Chat rooms, hangouts and campus events are the new places to talk about movies these days

I came to know recently that the next big thing is all about starting a movie promotion company. Exciting, especially if you have out-of-the-box ideas. Well, call it competition or creative genius but it is getting more and more edgy and uncommon by the day. Some stars walk into malls, studios, inaugurating shops and more while others generate controversies. In fact, the production houses reach out to some websites which can put a rather hot spin to the news about the star cast to generate more interest in the movie. The headline is invariably about the star’s love life – from why they are single to when they may mingle! That definitely draws attention because we all love to peek into others’ lives.  The cast and then the movie manages free promotion.
Now with the digital media picking up, the promotions are all over internet too. From special trailers to chat rooms and hangouts, cinema occupies a major chunk of the cyber space. Did I mention FM radio bits and events like ‘SaveWater’ campaigns during the film release? Not that nobody means what they say in the campaign, but more about the timing with the movie release.
The reason is simple. We have at least 4-5 small and mid-budget movies releasing at any given time. Now unless it is a Bahubali or an SRK starrer why and how would movie-goers register, recall and actually watch a movie? Besides, instead of just doing a staid studio interview blah blahing, it is certainly more fun and interesting to be in the news at other events and be recalled during film release. It is also increasingly challenging to remember unfamiliar, non-local beauties who resemble each other. I am talking about the new entrants who may take a while to register their presence here!
I was recently at a college fest. I saw many stars walk onto the stage to ‘inspire’ while of course promoting their trailers as well. What an idea! It was the perfect place to get a captive target audience. And why not? It worked. I  would not know some of the actors in the movie had I not attended the event. They all had, unfamiliar and complicated names. How would the rest of them remember? It is challenging enough for the students to mug up chemistry formulae.
The best thing about these harmless publicity gigs is that we all seem to enjoy them! With the large appetite our city has for such happenings- whether it is a book fair or a health run, actors and filmmakers too find it natural to be out there doing something or the other during their release. Says director Nandini Reddy of Ala Modalaindi fame in a recent conversation, “After much delay in finding theatres, we are finally set to release our film Kalyana Vaibhogame. But we still have four other films releasing on the same day.  The best way to get attention is to have an out-of-the-box promotion. You will see it soon,” she says.
The writer is a popular TV show host, radio jockey, professional singer… and most importantly, a hardcore Hyderabadi)

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