Sohini Sen

Stars, Dares and Movie Marketing Technique

Bang Bang Dares has taken the digital world by storm making film stars perform acts that range from the cute to the weird to the downright funny.

If a superstar dares another to a challenge, chances are people would be hooked. And taking just this peg a notch higher is the Hrithik Roshan-Katrina Kaif starrer Bang Bang. While Bollywood movies, especially big budget ones, have always done ample pre-release publicity, Bang Bang has used the personal touch of superstars to create buzz around the movie.

Stars, Dares and Movie Marketing Technique
Stars, Dares and Movie Marketing Technique
Stars, Dares and Movie Marketing Technique
The whole thing started when Roshan - the film's leading man - dared fellow actors to difficult tasks. Roshan was inspired by
who had dared her Twitter followers to go for a healthier lifestyle.

Roshan challenged Uday Chopra, Sonam Kapoor and Dino Morea to simple tasks with the hashtag Bang Bang Dare. The idea about dares is not new in the marketing world though with the recent success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge where everyone from CEOs to movie stars dared each other to pour a bucket of ice cold water on themselves. But using it for movie promotions is a first for Bollywood.

Pushing up the fun factor on Bang Bang Dares, Ranveer Singh decided to better Roshan's dare for him. Instead of just posing for his fans on the street, he performed a full-blown dance routine. The video for Singh's dare titled 'A tribute to Hrithik' has garnered 2.6 million views in the five days since its upload.

Farhan Akhtar who starred with both Kaif and Roshan in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara added a funny twist to his cycling dare by pretending to be a skydiver, while Fakhri rapped on her channel, accepting the Bang Bang Dare. Other stars to have been dared include Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Farah Khan Ali.

While Roshan has been charmingly handing out dares, Bed, Bath & More - a furnishing brand - decided to cash in on the fever and dared Roshan to purchase from them. Their promise is that they will donate the equal amount and Rs 5 lakh more to city hospitals if that happens. Roshan has sportingly taken it up.

All this has led to a fabulous 13,500 followers on Twitter for the movie. But Fox Star Hindi is not just relying on this for the film's strong opening. Touted as one of the most expensive movies of recent times, Bang Bang also released an official mobile game by the same name.

The game launch is not something completely new because the handheld device had married movies and gamers before as well. Be it the search for Vidya Balan's husband on the Kahaani game or fighting off the bad guys in Ra.One, Bollywood movies - especially in the action and thriller genre - have used mobile gaming to connect with the younger audience for quite some time. Recently, even television shows joined the bandwagon with Anil Kapoor-starrer 24 launching an action-packed game for the handheld devices.

The BTL route has been taken by only a handful of movies so far. While the Vidya Balan-starrer Kahaani's promotion saw the leading lady attending press meets and events with a baby bump, Mr Perfectionist Aamir Khan went missing for his film's promotions and asked Twitter followers to recognise him in the crowd. Parineeti Chopra and Aditya Roy Kapur's Daawat-e-Ishq saw the two stars travelling to lesser known parts of the country to try out the local cuisine while Viacom 18's What The Fish saw messages and quirky items being delivered in fish bowls.

On TV too, stars are using more than reality show appearances to promote their movies. The next big Shahrukh Khan movie - Happy New Year - has tied up with Zee TV. Accordingly, the channel will air a star-studded, multi-city dance tour titled 'Dil Se Naachein Indiawale' which will look for the happiest dancer in the country.

While the virality is guaranteed with stars, who are otherwise inaccessible, sharing fun and personal lives with followers, what remains to be seen is whether this will have any far reaching impact on the footfalls of the movie. Incidentally, Bang Bang opens on the holiday packed weekend along with Haider.