How Indian films learned to stop worrying and love the Digital Age

Social media has become a powerful tool for production houses, hoping that this cheap mode of marketing can boost the chances of a film’s success. Ritika Saxena reports.

Let us start the article by understanding what the Digital Age is. The Digital Age basically came about with the onset of digital revolution. In the Digital Age, a key role is played by New Media, which basically comprises on-demand access to content any time, anywhere, on any digital device, as well as interactive user feedback, and creative participation.

OK. Yeah. Just those four lines caused an information overload. Yes, for me too.

Every film needs to be promoted – big or small. In fact, even small budget films spend heavily on marketing, as that is one of the tools that can make or break a movie. Usually, in any movie, the marketing budget tends to be half of the entire production budget! 

Do any of you remember how movies were promoted earlier before the whole social media thing and all that jazz? I for one, do not. No memory. The only memory I have is of Dhoom 3 releasing its game using 99Games Online or Dedh Ishqiya using Facebook as a medium to launch its trailer. But earlier, the only media that existed were hoardings, newspapers and maybe television to a certain extent.

Today, social media has become an important and significant part of cinema. In the marketing of a movie, Facebook and Twitter have become important tools that connect the makers and marketers of a movie with their fans.

Filmmakers love social media and there are two main reasons for it. They love the fact that it is quite inexpensive and they also love the fact that the reach is phenomenal! There are numerous movie studios that not only have their official pages, handles and channels on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube respectively, but also have handles and channels solely for a movie!

For example, Warner Bros Pictures had their presence on social media for a long time but they launched dedicated Facebook pages and Twitter handles to promote their movies The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel. In order to promote Man of Steel, WB released a 30-second teaser one year before the release. After five months, came the first trailer. A few months later came a second, longer trailer.

Or let’s take a look at another instance closer to home. Yash Raj Films started their social media promotions for Dhoom 3 by releasing a motion poster on YouTube. Weeks later, they released a teaser where Aamir Khan was the highlight and got maximum screen time. Then in the last week of October, a full-length trailer was released on YouTube that gave us a fair idea about the theme and storyline of the movie.

With trailers of Dhoom 3 and Krrish 3 crossing 100,000 views on YouTube within a short time explains the importance of social media as a great platform for film promotion. It also shows how much movie-watchers love this trend.

We expect to see the movie industry embrace social media even more in the future. A look at some of the biggest hits at the box office this year proves that many of the most successful films also had strong social media campaigns.

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