afaqs!

UTV Motion Pictures banks on digital media for its new titles

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | July 02, 2009
It has three movies lined up for the coming months - Agyaat, Kaminey and Aage Se Right - and all are being marketed innovatively on various media

Will you stay in a haunted place for a night to win a contest? Did the idea of candid camera (in a fun way) always excite you, and did you love recording the wicked pranks pulled on your friends? Or if you thought that you could shoot a spine chilling spooky film, then UTV Motion Pictures may just recognise your talents. As a part of its marketing activity to promote three films - Agyaat, Kaminey and Aage Se Right, lined up for release in the next three months - the production house is doling out some interesting properties to create the initial buzz.

From games to shooting short films, contests, websites and microsites, production houses are indulging in various activities to market their films. Life size hoardings on the streets and vanilla promos of films are passť now, and are making way for innovative movie marketing techniques.

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For its horror movie Agyaat, UTV is banking heavily on the online medium for promotion, and is putting user engagement initiatives such as short film contests, teasers and virals on the Internet. The short film contest invites entries for original scary films of 10 seconds-2 minutes duration. The winner whose entry is adjudged the most frightening will win a chance to shoot a film with Ram Gopal Varma.

Another contest launched for the movie challenges people to stay in five haunted locations in different cities, and those who complete the task successfully will get cash prizes. All these initiatives are being promoted online through communities, fan clubs and discussion forums. Apart from digital media, TV channels will also be used extensively.

The campaign for Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra starrer Kaminey, which was launched in both online and offline media this Sunday, is called Sabse Bada Kameena Kaun. The campaign asks the audience to post images and motion pictures of the most wicked thing they have ever done on the Kaminey zone of the UTV Motion Pictures website.

Shikha Kapur, vice-president, marketing, UTV Motion Pictures, says, "It is a fun contest, which will be promoted on all the media including offline, print, radio, outdoor and TV. The marketing strategies and everything related to it is being handled in-house by us."

She adds, "The marketing campaigns being adopted by the production houses now are entirely different from the traditional marketing techniques. It is more scientific now. It is proper brand integration rather than placing the brands blatantly, without any proper connect in the films.

"Before designing the campaign, one needs to study the core of the film and understand the depth of the story. An interesting thing being noticed now is that the usual wisdom of movie marketing is not being followed and production houses are getting innovative, engaging the fans in the marketing process and making it more interactive," adds Kapur.

The production house also plans to introduce casual T-shirts and other apparel related to Kaminey and for this, UTV is in talks with various brands.

For Aage Se Right, the production house has launched a teaser website called gunontherun.com, where the virals related to the film and its cast will be put up.

But what happens to the initiatives and merchandise when the movie is a failure? Kapur explains, "We launch such initiatives much before the release date of the film. That way, we are able to create the initial buzz and get the maximum advantage. However, post release, we don't focus much on promoting these initiatives, as the sales of the merchandise is dependent on the movie itself."

Taking a cue from the success of marketing activities surrounding Ghajini, Bollywood films are increasingly trying their hands at the new-found way to grab attention.