On the Verge of Technology Revolution in Indian Film Marketing?
By MovieTalkies.com, 27 June 2011
So the head copy of this article is actually a bit misleading. In fact, it should probably read “Why are we still lagging behind in the use of technology in Indian film marketing?” Over the years, India has clearly become an IT hub, probably the biggest IT brain in the world after Silicon Valley. And yet when it comes to adopting the internet and all the great marketing and advertising tools it has opened doors to, the Indian film industry still lags ridiculously far behind its Hollywood counterparts. Not just the internet but in spite of having a huge penetration rate of mobile phones in Indian where 90% of the population owns a mobile phone, mobile phone marketing is hardly ever a part of the marketing and advertising strategy of a film unless it is purely for a brand tie up which still does not use the medium to the fullest.
Internet advertising still makes up only a minute component of a film's advertising budget (mobile advertising is still not even considered) in India with producers remaining in the fallacy that the internet is a medium which should be looked at only for free promotions. In fact, most still feel that articles, interviews, broadband content and pictures appearing on the internet for free are more than sufficient and that there is no need for paid advertising.
In that case, why does such a considerable amount of money, more than half of the overall advertising budget, still get spent on television? Even television gives amble airplay of interviews, celebrities appearing on reality shows, news channels doing editorial pieces, coverage of events and appearance and many channels playing promos as free play? Why do we take print ads when again stories get printed for free, editorial pieces happen, first looks get revealed etc? When the logic doesn't apply to television and print, why do producers continue to yet enforce it on the internet medium? Quite ironic when almost everyone is talking about how their films appeal to the youth and how the youth are the most important audience for their films and yet they consistently refuse to spend on the internet, the one medium on which that same youth audience spends the most time!
The internet medium is the only medium (along with the mobile but 3G is still a few years away from being a regular feature in our lives) which allows for audio visual content to be showcased in a dynamic way and yet allows for very specific targeting, measurability, and innovations. It allows you to select specific creatives for specific audiences and sites, allows you to measure the efficacy of each creative and more importantly allows the user to be more involved with the film through user engagement which is an almost sure shot way to get them into the theatre. Videos which have contests and clues embedded in them, applications which allow you to feel like you are a part of the film, advertising which just blows you away... the list of opportunities is endless.
In Hollywood, the internet is now the second highest advertising head for most films, the first being television. They spend on promoting internet first looks, exclusive videos, interactive contests, social media marketing and anything else they think can help promote their film to the youth or other specific audiences since they can easily target and also frame their communication differently for different audience groups. So even when they are doing an activity which is free, say premiering a promo or video exclusively on their YouTube channel, they allocate budgets to the internet as well as offline mediums in order to promote and drive that activity.