Do you remember the last time you watched a movie at a film theatre? More importantly, do you remember what brought you there — out of the airconditioned comfort of your home, living room with comfy couch and unlimited supply of food and drinks from the refrigerator? Was it the buzz on Twitter and Instagram or a positive word from folks you trust?

There was a time not too long ago when actors would be seen very often on television before their movies launched. They would be on every show or reality programme. Then, there were the pressers, mall visits and city tours.

Cut to the present. The emergence of social media has changed the way movies are promoted, not just in India but worldwide. Movie stars interact directly with their fans via social media platforms and big-budget digital campaigns are launched to help movie producers, filmmakers and actors reach out to larger audiences. Critics and reviewers take to various platforms to air their views about the successes and failures leading to spirited conversations and debate.

Movies are promoted online much before the release date and the campaign continues after the release as well. Official trailers of movies are uploaded on YouTube which gets millions of views and likes in couple of hours. Bollywood celebrities also take to social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. They post about the movie from their personal handles in order to create a positive buzz and keep the audience interested.

Disney’s recent remake of Lion King is a success story worth pointing out. The worldwide campaign has used a clever blend of trailers, posters and marketing (ads and social media) turning it into a well-planned conversation engaging audiences worldwide. In India,  social media played a critical role in promoting actor Shahrukh Khan and son Aryan, who played the roles of Mufasa and Simba, to lay the promotional pitch for the film well before its release. The film has made nearly Rs 127.32 crore over two weeks in India.

We worked with Red Chillies Entertainment in 2017 to promote Shah Rukh Khan’s film Jab Harry Met Sejal on social media. With creativity and flair, we created a positive buzz around the movie prior to its launch through 24/7 digital engagement. Our team provided strategy, insights and analytics expertise for reports from industry, critics, fans and provided sentiment analysis alongside tracking almost 10 lac mentions per day.

As India’s Rs 142 billion film industry struggles with stagnating box office revenues and falling ticket sales, Bollywood (and the rest of the world) is waking up – slowly but surely – to the power of social media. It is said that there is no better publicity than word of mouth and this is where social media makes all the difference.

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