afaqs!

Raajneeti talks 'politics' with the youth

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | June 07, 2010
The movie was released in 1,800 screens across the country on June 04

Prakash Jha's much awaited movie, Raajneeti released in theatres on June 04. The launch of the film was preceded by a month-long, youth-centric campaign.

A Prakash Jha production, the movie has been co-produced by UTV Motion Pictures and Walkwater Media. The film is a political saga capturing the power tussle within a political family. The movie boasts of big Bollywood names, such as Naseerudin Shah, Nana Patekar, Ajay Devgan, Manoj Bajpai, Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif.

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For the last month, this ensemble cast took on the role of people's representative and was busy striking the right chord with the youth of the country, in a bid to create curiosity about the movie.

As part of the marketing campaign, Jha and the cast of Raajneeti visited colleges and universities in Delhi, Chandigarh, Bengaluru and Lucknow, discussing politics with the audience. During their interaction with students, they raised issues, such as whether voting should be compulsory in the country; whether a year's military training should be mandatory for every citizen; and whether film stars should join politics.

Talking about the theme of the campaign, Shikha Kapur, vice-president, marketing, UTV Motion Pictures, says, "We did not promote Raajneeti as a traditional film at all. We promoted the movie as an event, and that too, the biggest event of the year. The common thread running through the on-ground, print, radio and TV promotions was the distinct focus on youth."

Kapur points out that the insight governing the campaign was why the youth were seen as alienated from politics. There are many who idolise young politicians such as Rahul Gandhi. The communication governing the campaign highlighted the fact that today, youngsters are an evolved lot. Politics is relevant to them; so why let the subject be dry and restrict its appeal to one set of people alone?

In order to strike the right tone with the youth and create a political atmosphere before the launch of the movie, the producers organised rallies in various cities, where each rally attracted a crowd of about 500-1,000 people. Interestingly, these rallies were turned into a televised property by STAR News. For a month, 30-minute episodes about the rallies were aired on the news channel at 8:30 pm.

As part of branding, individual cut-outs of the movie's characters, along with signages, were used extensively, to create an impression of a real-life election campaign in progress. Co-branded content and contests was carried in Hindi publication, Dainik Bhaskar to create curiosity around the movie.

Also, a special video, which features the cast of the movie rendering the national anthem, is being showcased in theatres, prior to the screening of the movie. Raajneeti was released last week in as many as 1,800 screens across the country.

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