The extra-ordinary sales promotion by SRK I’ve often heard people say, film-making is nothing short of a gamble. And as any gambler will tell you, you’ve got to gamble huge to triumph huge. Going by this logic, Shah Rukh Khan is The Supreme Gambler of the year. What’s at stake, besides the big money invested in RA. ONE, of course, is a dream, a vision, an aspiration to make a film that appeals to kids and kids at heart. In short, attempt a film that appeals to the universal audience. At the same time, it ought to raise the bar for Hindi films. Also at stake is SRK’s once-unchallenged supremacy as the reigning idol of Bollywood and that elusive thing called reputation. When you invest your repute in your dream project and stick your neck out, you expect nothing short of a mega-success. “I had a very clear of how we’ll market it. The first clarity was that we won’t have too many images of the film. I didn’t want it to be cluttered. I didn’t want it to be a hero and a heroine and their son. This is a superhero film and we had to introduce that. Whether people like it or not, my marketing thought is if you keep something in front of people for too long, they get used to it.
So there was this big fear — when my costume comes out and me with blue eyes, will it be liked? Small considerations like this which you don’t think about while making the film, but when it comes out, people say, “you know what, your adhere (beard) is”t working at all”. SRK The daily promotional strategy of the media-savvy Shah Rukh Khan seems to be working when it comes to publicizing his film ‘Ra. One’. He has pushed the film in every way possible – through multiple co-branding deals, in-film plans, promotional tie-ups, marketing strategies, gaming and merchandising, and much more. The ‘Ra. One’ ous appetite of King Khan seems to be insatiable and everyone is being a part of it, whether they understand it or not. The film is thus ending up as the most promoted film till date “SRK’s strategy is similar to several Hollywood biggies where promotions start several months before release. Typically, big star cast movies and mega-budget releases such as Bodyguard, Singham, etc start their marketing around eight weeks before release. But SRK has taken marketing to a whole new level for a Bollywood movie,” says Prince Jadhav, chief operating officer, P9 Integrated – a division of Percept. The makers of Ra.
One area on a marketing blitzkrieg Eros International and Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment has brand tie-ups for Ra. One to the tune of Rs. 52 crore of which Rs 12-15 crore has been earmarked for online promotion, an advertising executive involved with the promotion of the movie said on condition of anonymity. Brand tie-ups that the marketing spends of the film have been considerably subsidized. Some of the brands with whom tie-ups have been effected are Sony PlayStation, YouTube, Nerolac, McDonald’s, Western Union Money Transfer, UTV Indiagames, Videocon, Nokia, Coke, ESPN Star Sports, and Cinthol.
Eros and Red Chillies have recovered part of their huge investment in the film through in-film branding, media endorsements, pre-licensing of cable TV and satellite rights, music and other rights Promotion of the film officially began as early as December 2010 when the first poster was published in all leading newspapers across the country. The film’s first look was later unveiled by Khan on his Twitter page on January 1, 2011. Several months later, director Anubhav Sinha announced that he would be launching two teaser trailers of the film during the 2011 Cricket World Cup, a prior nine months before the film’s actual release date. Ra. One is not a Bollywood film that [the audiences] have seen before. The kind of size and magnitude that the film has requires it to be slowly introduced to the audience and that is the very purpose why we are starting the whole communication so early. “says Anubhav Sinha The film’s first theatrical trailer was released three months later to the public. As a way to promote the theatrical trailer, Khan was accompanied by the director on a five-city tour, which included such places like Delhi, Chandigarh, Indore, and Ahmedabad.
During the same event, a 3600 ft long fan mail collecting audience wishes and messages for the film was also launched. Strategies that have caught the imagination of a population of over a billion Indians * Online Promotions: Approx INR 52crore is the estimated total budget shelled out for Ra. One’s marketing, in which INR 15 crore is for online promotions. Usually, Bollywood film promotions only start eight weeks before release but SRK took it in the Hollywood way, from January of this year with his first appearance on Twitter. Later it was the Facebook Fan page that started off its promotion from March SRK and Google – YouTube announced a partnership deal on a mutual benefits basis. An exclusive video was created by Red Chillies (Khan’s production company) and was integrated into the YouTube Channel (Ra. One Youtube Channel). The company launched the official customized Ra. One channel of the film on YouTube(a first for an Indian film) where several song and theatrical promos were released to the public, along with videos of the film’s making, events, and uncut footage.
The channel also hosts games, including the first social game from India, and contests where participants can create promos from clips, music, and dialogues of the film. * Merchandise: As a way to promote the film and increase its franchising business, Shahrukh Khan tied up with Seventymm to market a variety of merchandise related to the film. Products included original G. One tee shirts, coffee mugs, wrist bands, watches, mobile pouches, video cameras, as well as many other things. Similar products were also available for purchase on the official G. One online store, which was launched alongside the film’s official website. [90% of the 400. 000 stationery items and toys were sold in 15 days and 100. 000 more have been ordered. The makers spent 1. 5 crores on the mold for the G. One action figure. In addition to this, a jewelry line inspired by the symbol of “Ra. One”, as well as a series of HCL laptops with customized integrated Ra. One skinwere also made available to the public. These products are designed in-house by Red Chillies and have been manufactured in China. By October, 50 products will be sold in more than 3,500 stores and e-commerce sites. Comics: Red Chillies Entertainment collaborated with UTV Indiagames to develop digital comics based on the film’s characters. Written by Khan, the comic featured weekly episodes and served as a prequel to the events happening in the movie. Video games: RA. ONE continues to surprise the Indian audience with new innovations on a continued basis. Red Chillies Entertainment had declared a tie-up with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) to build a full cycle game on the PlayStation platform. The video game version of the movie will be called ‘RA. ONE–The Game‘ and will be available on PS2 and PS3 (through PSN download). This is a newer direction for Bollywood to create a win-win strategy of both promoting the film as well as create a brand extension strategy for RA. ONE. The film, with its superhero touches, is appropriate to seamlessly use the PlayStation platform and connect with the In youth.
Print ads and billboards: Print ads have been booked in all leading publications while 1,700 billboards will show the superstar in his superhero gear. This by far the largest collaboration in terms of billboards for any movie. Something or the other we read about the movie every day. “Bharat Bhraman” Tour: Shahrukh Khan is a place for Ra. One. King Khan has started his Bharat brahman and caught with his fans from Kolkata to Delhi. Shahrukh covered cities like Vadodara, Gujarat; earlier he was in Chennai for ‘Ra. One’s audio launch in Tamil; and he was in the cities Bangalore, Jaipur, and Bhopal Vadodara. SRK did a 36-city tour, which will include several foreign destinations, and one of the highlights of these events will be a 3,600-feet-long fan mail collecting audience’s wishes and messages. Mobile Engagements and application: iPhone / iPad app for the fans, in collaboration with UTV’s Indiagames. To talk about the app – Ra.
One is an arcade first-person shooter game where you can play as G. One to shoot bad guys down with their team leader Ra. One. The game comprises three terrains – Trainyard, London Bridge, and Wasteland with a total of 89 levels (called Waves in the game), starting with Wave 1 and unlocking as you complete each level. Movie themes, songs, games, wallpapers all of which form a part of mobile engagements are easily accessible over the net.
Appearances in three major shows (Just Dance, SA RE GA MA PA Lil Champs. Indias Got Talent)in 3 entertainment channels to participating in ‘Kaun banged crorepati’. Interviews and teasers are a constant attraction nowadays for the viewers. Television promotion is playing a big role in promoting the film.
Selling movie rights: Even before its release, Ra. One managed to earn a revenue of Rs132 crore simply by giving away the rights of the movie. The brand equity of film star Shahrukh Khan is unparalleled and his presence in the movie gives a huge boost to distributors and companies to get associated with the brand. Star India got the rights for Ra. One at around Rs40 crore. Apart from this, the music rights were bought for Rs15 crore by T-Series. The producers got a whopping Rs77 crore from Eros Entertainment to own the distribution rights of the movie
Release and Premiere: The movie would be released at over 3000 screens in India and over 1000 screens overseas. Apart from this, premieres at international destinations like Dubai, Toronto, and London, which have high popularity for Indian films are on cards. Due to various new marketing strategies adopted by the producers of the movie, Ra. One managed to generate a lot of positive word of mouth. If not for its success, this movie would definitely prove to be a landmark in the Indian film industry for its advertising and marketing strategies. Will promotional overdrive harm ‘RA. One’? They need to remain prepared to face the severe criticism if they fail to live up to the expectation by even a bit, and it will be difficult to match the hype because they have unveiled almost everything about ‘RA. One’.
Audience expectations build up with such a high-intensity campaign and the risk is that even a small disconnect can boomerang. That’s not the climax the producers would look forward to. The expectations are have increased so much that if the film does not fair according to the standards set by the movie then the audience will feel cheated. Nevertheless, the first reactions have come in from the trade analyst and they are optimistic about the film. “Wow! Brilliant! Mesmerizing! Leaves u dumbfounded! Blockbuster! Indian cinema bar raised! Saw portions of RA. SRK surpasses himself. ”- Komal Nahata Watched more than an hour of #RaOne. Left me amazed. Technological breakthrough. On par with intl films. A superhero film that’s super! ” – Taran Adarsh this reaction about the movie is only going to create a good word of mouth about the film and this will lead to audience booking there tickets Conclusion All said and done u like the promotions or not but u simply can’t ignore the movie. Shahrukh Khan along with his team has made us think about the differentiated strategy implemented across the country. The strategy is here to stay. It has played down a path that will make other filmmakers think. As far as the box office collection goes it’s a sure shot blockbuster.
Saxena, Manjari (2011-10-24). “Ra. One: Shah Rukh Khan has another winner”. Gulf News. Retrieved 2011-10-24. “SRK concentrates on Ra. One”. Filmfare. 2010-05-06. Retrieved 2010-08-22. Press Trust of India (2011-10-21). “SRK turns salesman to sell ‘RA. One’ merchandise”. CNN-IBN. Global Broadcast News. Retrieved 2011-10-21. Ra. One: Exclusive & Authentic Movie Merchandise”.
Retrieved 2011-10-20. Adarsh, Taran (2011-10-21).
“SRK, Eros takes ‘Ra. One’ to the next level”. Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
Bhat, Varada (2011-09-19). “Bollywood’s longest promotion”. Business Standard. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
“Shah Rukh meets fans on Google Plus Hangout for RA. One chat”. CNN-IBN. Global Broadcast News. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
Shinde, Shivani (2011-08-30). “India’s first social game for Ra. One”. Business Standard. Retrieved 2011-08-29.
Baksi, Dibyojyoti (2011-10-14). “SRK’s discovery speaks up about RA. One”.
Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2011-10-15. Jamkhandikar, Shilpa (2011-10-13).
“A Minute With Shah Rukh Khan”. Reuters. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
RA. One’s rampage. Prannoy Roy Publications. 2011-10-14. Retrieved 2011-10-20. Joshi, Tushar (2011-10-18).
“RA. One gets an addition”. The Times of India. Retrieved 2011-10-18 * NDTV Correspondent (2011-10-13).
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