KOCHI: To ensure the maximum reach for a Malayalam film in its potential market via a cheaper mode, there is no better tool than online marketing, according to Mollywood. Reflecting this sentiment, in under five years online marketing in Mollywood has grown into a sector comprising nearly 50 firms where about 1,000 youngsters are actively engaged in the promotions, mainly through Facebook. The release of the first look, trailer, teaser and songs are the major activities during the online promotion with FB live broadcast of functions such as music release also on the rise.
“Even with minimal elements, the online marketing can work mircales. For example, my Tamil film ‘Richie’, which is awaiting release, has aroused curiosity even with the release of two, three elements including a first look and teaser. I realise those in Tamil movie industry are particular in matters related to timing and content however small it is. The tactics arouse the curiosity which will help the film ultimately,” said Vinod Shoranur, producer and distributor, with a string of successes to his credit.
“The major advantage of online marketing is its maximum reach at minimum cost. If carried out properly, it can reach out to nearly 30 lakh Facebook users. Though attempts had been made for online promotion earlier as well, it started as a trend only from 2012-13. If it was done for `10, 000 to `20,000 per film then, now it costs around `1.5 lakh. The amount will be shared among 10 - 15 persons,” said Gokul Nath G, an executive producer who entered the industry as an online promoter.
According to him, online promotion has several advantages over the other media platforms. “ It can present the content in various formats such as articles, video, photos and GIF together in a platform for promotion. If we look at the returns, this leaves other modes far behind,” said Gokul who played a key role in the online marketing of several mega hits, including Premam, Action Hero Biju and Jacobinte Swargarajyam along with the marketing of Anandam and Oru Mexican Aparatha.
“The success of a film mainly depends on one thing - the number of people who like the movie. While promoting the film, our aim is to increase the viewership,” said Gokul.
However, mere online promotion may not spawn magic at the Box Office. It needs the right strategy at the right time as the mood of the viewers depends on the expectations made by the promotion. If a film fails to measure up to the viewers’ expectations, it could well be rejected. Recently, a film which managed to rake in `1. 28 crore on the opening day ended its first week collection at around `2.5 crore. The hype on social media about it was its peak, which lured the viewers to the movie halls.
However, the negative opinion prevented the further flow to theatres. Similarly, the hype proved fatal to a big budget film which bombed at the BO this year. Despite the social media promotion which was at its peak, the negative opinion from those who had seen the film literally dispersed the crowd which reached the theatres.“
Action Hero Biju, which followed the hugely successful Premam, had given an impression it will be an action film. So the first week’s collection went down. But we were confident of its potential. Hence we quickly altered the strategy and it went on to become a runaway hit, completing 50 days’ run in 58 screens,”said Vinod. As there is a threat to the supremacy of Facebook from other social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Twitter, the online marketing is on the threshold of a change.
1 About 1,000 youngsters employed by various firms are actively engaged in the promotions, mainly through Facebook
2 The wide reach of online marketing, coupled with the fact it can enable presentation of the content in various formats are some of the reasons behind its appeal
3 However, mere online promotion may not spawn magic at the Box Office. It needs the right strategy at the right time