Monday, September 3, 2012

Movie Marketing - Do we need a big bang or a Vicky donor will do?

Movies have an Achilles heel - Their product life cycle is very short. The only space available for a movie to earn money is the first weekend. After which it obviously is in the hands of the quality of content, stars and people. For all practical purposes if a movie makes a bang on the first weekend, it should recover its money. Due to the first weekend phenomena and distrust on their own quality of content, movie makers go for over the top campaigns to promote their movie because the first weekend audience is more marketing driven rather than word of mouth. This expenditure on promotion in turn affects the return on investment (ROI). In the last year there have been movies who have decided to bank on content quality and WOM. Vicky Donor with a shoe-string promotional budget and a total budget of Rs. 5 Crore managed to gross over Rs. 40 Crore almost 8 times its budget. It had no star cast, just a compelling story. The same goes for Pan Singh Tomar with a budget of 8 crore earning around 38 Crore. Kahaani was another block buster with a budget of 8 crores and a whopping revenue of 104 crores. The investors got their returns and the movies did well. Big bang promotions have another problem of increasing the expectations of cinema goers. This in turn negatively effects word of mouth and affects the long run performance of the movie. This realization is being seen in the appreciation of good quality cinema with the new string of directors finding success with low budgets and high quality cinema.