The website onlookersmedia.com, which is into online promotion and marketing of Malayalam movies, is the brainchild of four friends

Film industries thrive on promotion, the mantra being better the marketing strategy, bigger the reach. Now that cyberspace has got an immense reach, online marketing/promotion is going viral.

Four movie-buffs in Kerala cashed in on this trend and today they run the venture, www.onlookersmedia.com

Meet Dhanesh Anand, Job J. Neriamparambil, Ajay Nath and Sujith Govind who run the portal that is in to online promotion, movie marketing, web designing and poster designing of Malayalam movies. Theirs is a success story scripted by Facebook. The foursome happened to ‘meet' on the social networking site and when they had a common topic to discuss, that is cinema, things happened so fast that in August last year, they opened a Facebook page that posted all information related to Malayalam movies.

“It was the ‘recent news' section which turned out to be a huge hit. Slowly we started thinking about online promotion and onlookersmedia.com was born,” says Dhanesh.

These youngsters, all aged 25, work in different fields – Dhanesh is an assistant film director, Job is a web-designer, Ajay is a photographer and Sujith runs a business venture.

Big Break

The team went all out meeting producers and couldn't have asked for a better official launch than Dileep's Mayamohini. “Madhu Warrier (Dileep's brother-in-law and one among the producers of the movie) showed immense faith in a fresh team like ours. We were chosen for the online promotion of Mayamohini, which was a rewarding experience for us,” says Dhanesh.

Next came Ustad Hotel, directed by Anwar Rasheed with Dulquer Salman in the lead, which is all set to reach theatres soon.

“Instead of sharing photos or videos, we focus on the storyline of the movie we are promoting. For instance, Ustad Hotel's narrative has food as an integral part. Therefore, we came up with a photography contest based on this theme as part of its marketing (see box). Certain other plans are on the anvil, which haven't been finalised yet,” says Dhanesh.

Online promotion

Right now they are busy with online marketing/promotion of Anoop Menon-Meghna Raj-starrer Namukku Parkkan and Rupesh Paul's Raktharakshas 3D.

Although they currently work from Kozhikode, home to Dhanesh and Sujith (the other two are from Kottayam), they are all set to shift base to Kochi. “We are upgrading the site and will soon have a full-fledged website, which will be much more organised,” Dhanesh says.

Celebrating food

Ustad Hotel team held an online photography contest with food as the theme. “The response has been overwhelming with nearly 100 entries coming in. Most of them have posted traditional food items. A judging panel would select the winner. We might give a viewers' choice prize as well,” says Dhanesh.

The contest concluded on May 16. Winners will be announced prior to the release of the movie.