Cinema

The big promotion

Remo  

Two films from different languages— Remo and Pulimurugan—which released on the same day have turned out to be super-hits, thanks to their marketing campaigns. It is believed that Sivakarthikeyan’s Remo, produced by RD Raja of 24AM Studios, has emerged a super-hit on account of how aggressively it was promoted. The success of Mohanlal’s mass-action entertainer, Pulimurugan, which also released on October 7, is a similar story. The film had, for the first time, full-page ads on release day, in two leading Malayalam dailies. Mohanlal himself went on a promotional spree for the film on social media and other platforms.

Two weeks before that, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story—both Hindi, and the dubbed Tamil version—created box-office history in Tamil Nadu by becoming the highest-collecting dubbed film ever. Dhoni himself led the films campaign in Chennai.

S Pictures’ Srinivasan, who distributed Remo in South and North Arcot, says, “ Remo is a runaway superhit and all distributors who purchased the film turned profitable by the sixth day of release. The main reason was the phenomenal opening, thanks to the aggressive promotions. Family audiences are crazy about Sivakarthikeyan and the competing films which released along with it were weak in comparison. The release date and holiday season helped too.”

Tirupur Subramaniam, the Coimbatore distributor of the film, says, “The success of Remo is due to the systematic promotion and strategy used by its producer, RD Raja. He had meticulously chosen the right release date and worked to achieve that right from the day of its launch. Promotions and marketing are as important as content today. Gone are the days when a superstar could get away by saying that the opening and content will do the talking at the box-office.”

Remo incidentally received mixed reviews. It was even criticised and trolled online, but has managed nevertheless to turn out to be a superhit. RD Raja, the producer of the film, says, “I respect critics’ views, but as far as Remo is concerned, it is made to be a commercial entertainer. The film would not have been such a big hit without the family audiences who love it. Sivakarthikeyan’s screen presence and his charisma also made it work big time.”

Raja agrees that promotions played a key role. Says Raja: “Sivakarthikeyan went to Malaysia, Dubai and Kerala to promote the film. He also took part in television shows. The cupid standees put up in theatre lobbies became a selfie hotspot for the youth, and the promotions, especially the trailer, worked to our advantage. I like how Hollywood, and now, Bollywood heroes promote their films. Aggressive promotions backed by good content can make a film successful.”

Raja had even put out full-page newspaper ads in Malaysia, Mumbai and Hyderabad. He had also roped in strategy consultants. The industry buzz is that Raja spent almost 50 per cent of the budget of the film on promotions. He refused to say the amount spent on promotions, fearing a ban from the Tamil Film Producers’ Council. TFPC has strict rules governing the budgets allowed for promotions.

Sujith Kumar, a Chennai-based marketing consultant and analyst, is impressed with R. D. Raja’s strategy. “It has been a well-thought-out plan, both in terms of PR and marketing, right from the first look, audio launch and release. This has ensured its huge opening. Sivakarthikeyan has taken a leaf out of Bollywood stars like Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan, in appearing on television shows, talking about the movie and travelling to key cities.”

Remo’s success comes at a time when stars like Rajinikanth, Vijay and Ajith do not engage in print interviews to promote their films as they believe that their fan base and superstardom is enough. Among the big stars, Suriya and Vikram are known to go the extra mile in promoting their films. New-generation stars like Dhanush, Simbu and a few others reach out through their Twitter handles to promote their films. It’s a strategy followed by almost all the stars who are active on social media. Kollywood celebrities with more than a million followers are convinced it’s the best way to promote films.

Meanwhile, a section within the industry is unhappy, as they feel everybody does not have the kind of budget that Sivakarthikeyan had to promote Remo. They want TFPC to take appropriate action against producers who flout budgeting rules concerning promotions. Regardless of what transpires, it’s clear that promotions decide the box-office success of a film.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 4:03:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/The-big-promotion/article16072129.ece

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