CroDiag , Isles May 30 , 2012 Wed 11 : 45 pm local
Birthday Greetings to Abhaya for the 31st of May …. and to Barun for the 1st of June !! Enjoy !!
Our lives are moments filled with temptation ! We long we desire we want, because it offers temptation. Those that market their wares know well the art of it. Lure them in to a world with delightful niceties, alluring benefits, fashioned and designed to attract. And then … await the effects ! How are they able to accomplish this feat is and shall remain, alien to me. Many benefits come the way to those that know the art and knack of it, and it deserves recognition. They say today’s world is filled with this important element. It may not bring in the desired long term benefits, but if it is capable of striking within the first few days of its requirement, it is sufficient they say. How then to pitch a product, for that gain of a few days, is the key.
I am not a salesman and to expect this talent from me would be wishful thinking. But the region and area of work that we function in, has made it mandatory for all of us to succumb unwillingly into the depths of its operations. Retailers, shop owners, sellers of goods, continuously grow their worth because were they to not, they would suffer in their respective businesses.
I find this trend increasingly finding favor in cinema too. I shall not disagree that it was not present from day one, but perhaps its extent has risen to large numbers and profiles. Hand painted posters and banners, the odd advert in the trade press and magazine was all that one saw. Now … gosh I fail to even imagine the various ‘technologies’ that are put into use for attention to be drawn towards a particular film. Any and every medium that has the patronage or attention of the masses, is exploited for the benefit of a film on release. And all of us old timers that do not understand this or are simply not conversant with its machinations, find themselves falling prey to this modern form of attention drawing, which I must admit does become awkward at most times. And one cannot even debate the commercial philosophy behind it. Spend tons of money, almost the entire budget of the film at times, get in the audience for that crucial first week and rest. For within that week the cost of the film has been covered, and on many an occasion, profits as well. What happens to it after that first week is the icing on the cake. And we all know that even if the icing was not present, the cake would still bear good taste !
I asked Rajni once what he thought of all this. He is one of those stars that has belonged to the older generation, but still has the potential strength to hit the ball out of the stadium every now and then. He gave me a simple answer.’I am an actor Amit ji, not a salesman. What is the need to go and sell myself. If a film is good it will be patronized, if not it shall not. No amount of selling shall drive a paying audience into the theatre, if basic factors are not in place.’ End of argument !
During the time I was hosting ‘Big Boss’, Akshay had come along to be a part of the programme, to promote one of his films. After finishing his stint he needed to rush back to Mumbai, Big Boss being conducted at Lonavala a two hour drive away, to attend another programme on Tv for the same promotion. I asked him why he was rushing around like this. He said, almost apologetically – ‘Kya karen sir ji, karna padta hai’ –what to do sir ji, one has to do this !!
On a casual conversation with Shah Rukh once, he told Abhishek I think – ‘I am very good at marketing, if you ever need any help on that, let me know’. Gracious and kind of him.
The point that these luminaries make is this. When a large amount of expenditure is at stake in a film, it becomes imperative to make sure that the investment comes back. And for that, awareness of the product needs to reach every home, especially in today’s times when the masses have so many other entertainment avenues available to them.
But you have to give it to them, some of the ideas for promotion that emanate are truly innovative and unique and work wonders. Driving millions of people into a cinema house these days is no small matter. It is a venture by itself. Research agencies are deployed along with distinctive separate companies that look after the several aspects of promotion. There are varied departments that excel in a particular aspect, and they all come together on a common platform to ensure that the elusive first week of release, gets the numbers.
Just one question in the end. Did I ever indulge in any form of marketing for our Blog ? Honest answers please … thank you !!