Just a few months back, Magik, the reel rock band from the movie, Rock On, rocked people at live performances in Pune, Delhi and Mumbai. Now, many more will get to ride in Luck By Chance autorickshaws and trains and also to try their luck at winning contests.
Excel Entertainment, Ritesh Sidhwani's and Farhan Akhtar's production house, has launched an innovative, integrated promotional campaign, called By Chance, to engage prospective viewers. As was the case with their last venture, Rock On, the campaign has been designed, not only to promote the movie, but also to engage the audience with the premise of the movie. The conceptualisation and execution of activation is being handled by the production house itself.
Shroff, marketing manager, Excel Entertainment, tells afaqs!, "We realise that today, when people have so many recreational options, a good storyline along with mere on-air promotions won't get them to come and see your movie. One needs to make a better connect with them. So, we have created an integrated campaign to involve the audience with the movie's plot, which, among other things, deals with the lives of two struggling actors, who, like millions of others, want to make it big in Bollywood."
The film's plot revolves around the lives of two people, Farhan Akhtar and Konkana Sen Sharma, who come to Mumbai to make their mark in the Hindi film industry. The film describes their struggle to make it big in an industry where luck rules more than talent or hard work. Using that as its basis, the campaign focuses on those who come to Mumbai to make it big.
As part of the campaign, 10 autorickshaws, 45 bus shelters and a local train have been branded in Mumbai. For Auto By Chance, the 10 autos have been given a Luck By Chance identity through movie posters and stickers - whoever spots one of these autos earns a free ride to his destination and also enjoys the film's music during the journey. The autos will ply in the lanes of Mumbai for five days starting January 30. Similarly, 45 bus shelters have been revamped to promote the movie six weeks before its release.
Meanwhile, students from the JJ School of Art were roped in to paint a local train plying between Churchgate and Borivali in the style of old film posters. The train, which will run for a month, also aims to pay tribute to the dying art of painting movie posters.
Shroff explains, "Through this activity, we wanted to give a glimpse of the dying movie poster and hoarding painting art to the people of Mumbai. This is a tribute to all those artists who are reduced to running tea shops in this age of digital poster making."
Apart from these on-ground activations, the production house has also taken a stand against the issue of piracy by coming out with takeaway cards, which spread the message of anti-piracy.
Says Shroff, "All artists are required to take along their portfolios when they go for an audition or to find work, but many struggling artists are hardpressed to cough up the Rs 15,000-20,000 required to put together a decent portfolio. Therefore, we are giving a chance to all the winners of the Star By Chance contest to get a good, professionally clicked portfolio."
Excel Entertainment has also tied up with Zapak.com to create a microsite, www.lbc.zapak.com, which has already received more than one million page views since its launch two weeks ago. The portal has released an exclusive game, called Luck By Chance - Lucky Break, based on the actors in the movie. Players can assume the identity of any of the six actors from the movie, and much like Snakes and Ladders, the roll of the dice, or luck, decides the movements of the actors.
About the challenges faced during the campaign, Shroff says that film promotional campaigns are far more difficult to handle than brand campaigns. She says, "A film campaign requires working backwards on a deadline. We have to launch it in a short timeframe, working on many things at any given time. We can't delay any part of the campaign because that would mess up the entire schedule. In short, a film campaign is challenging, intense and time-consuming, requiring different rollouts at the same time."
Excel Entertainment may consider extending the campaign after the film release, based on the response the film gets from the audience.
Excel Entertainment is using press, radio, TV and word of mouth to engage its prospective viewers in all these activities. Luck By Chance is due to be released worldwide on January 30, across 900 screens in 27 countries. Of these, more than 700 screens are in India and the rest overseas, including in the US, Canada, the UK, the UAE, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.