SRK goes all out to make Ra.One a cracker of a Diwali release

Mumbai: The makers of `Ra.One` are on a marketing blitzkrieg, innovatively promoting their upcoming film on all possible platforms besides collaborating with over 25 brands, popularising its superhero characters while pushing for its merchandise on a vast scale to grab eyeballs and recover the huge investment ahead of its release on Diwali.

Considering that Shahrukh Khan has ventured into an unfamiliar genre of super hero flicks, which has not received much appreciation from Indian public, the superstar is going all out to create awareness and interest in the genre.

Shah rukh kicked off the promotions of `Ra.One` by releasing the first look of the film on Twitter in January this year, followed by the ten-second trailer of the film during World Cup match in the month of March.

The first theatrical trailer of `Ra.One` was released three months later during a five city tour and a 3600 ft long fan mail was collected with messages from audiences.

In early September, SRK`s Red Chillies Entertainment launched viral marketing campaign for promoting the film more effectively in the online arena.

"Overall marketing idea is of Shahrukh. Considering the movie is the first of its kind being made in India, extraordinary promotions were required. The idea is to create buzz about the movie," Shailja Gupta, Digital & Merchandising head of Red Chillies, told reporters.

An official customised `Ra.One` channel was launched on YouTube, a first for an Indian film, where audiences can see theatrical promos, songs, events, uncut footage, videos of `Ra.One` premiere and red carpet events.

Western Union, a leader in global payment services to launch a global campaign, joined hands with Red Chillies for international promotions. Through this, Shahrukh is looking to target Indian families settled abroad.

The makers have also collaborated with the Formula One races as a part of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

SRK launched a digital avatar of G.One, the character he plays in the film and roped in UTV Indiagames to design a social game based on the film, which serves the dual purpose of marketing and entertaining in digital space.

UTV Indiagames also developed digital comics based on the film`s characters. Written by Shahrukh, the comic has weekly episodes and serves as prequel to events in the movie.

Also, an official G.One store has been launched on the film`s official website, where people could buy the film merchandise.

The 45-year-old actor collaborated with several brands like Nokia, Godrej Consumer Products, Coca-Cola, Cinthol, Gitanjali Group, Horlicks, McDonalds and others to promote the film and its merchandise.

"On the digital front, we have tied up with You Tube, UTV Indiagames, Sony playstation and others. Besides promoting on digital platform, we have tied up with several brands... some of them are new and some are which Shahrukh is already associated with," Gupta said.

"Also, we have entered into stationary area with `Back to School` theme where we have items like pencil, toy laptop, compass box, etc. We have tied up with international partners in places like Germany, Italy, US," she said.

Co-producers and distributors Eros International has recovered money through in-film branding, media endorsements, music and satellite rights. The film has subsidised through brand ties-up with over 25 brands worth over Rs 52 crore.

"Every movie has its own size so accordingly branding is done. Today marketing has become an important crux of filmmaking business. One has to pull audiences to theatres and needs to indulge in innovative marketing," Eros International CFO Kamal Jain said.

"It is an intelligent recovery move. Since investment is huge, there is nothing wrong in recovering the money through effective marketing and distribution. In order to have a wider release of the movie, marketing has to be effective. It is a five day weekend, the movie is getting released in over 3,000
screens in India and over 500 screens worldwide," he said.

From appearing on TV shows to collaborating with brands and using other marketing tools to promote his movie, Shahrukh however, refuses to be labelled as a marketing guru.

"These terms are all nonsensical. I think every actor talks about his films in some or the other way and like them I also do things when my film is about to release. I feel I am no marketing guru," Shahrukh had told reporters.

"But I do feel in order to reach out to more people one needs to be innovative so that more and more people can be made aware about your film."

Trade Analyst Komal Nahata said, "I would call this clever marketing. It is a smart move to recover money much before the release. It is business-like approach. I don`t think he is going overboard with promotions. Since this movie has a huge budget, marketing plays a vital role... it has to be done on a vast scale."

"It is essential for `Ra.One` to pull up top line margins. The film stands out on the Indian core, like it has good songs, humour, family drama and etc," he said.

`Ra.One`, a science-fiction film starring Shahrukh, Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal in lead roles, is all set to release on October 26.


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