News reports are coming in about the film clocking Rs 100 crores at the box office. A lot of brands were riding on the film. Both producers and brands riding the movie are buzzing online, thanks to some focused efforts.
Viacom18 Motion Pictures’ Bhaag Milkha Bhaag roped in Ignitee Digital Services to manage the film’s promotional efforts across digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. As on 3 August, the official Facebook page boasted of over 281,000 likes, while there are over 6,800 people followers on Twitter.
Atul Hegde, chief executive officer, Ignitee Digital Services, attributed these high numbers to their sustained campaign which began much before the movie was released. “The single most differentiating factor of this digital marketing campaign is Milkha Singh. The fundamental difference of this campaign when compared with other movie campaigns was that we chose to build Milkha Singh as a brand before the release of the movie, as most of today’s audience is not aware of his achievements. The actual marketing for the movie only began three weeks prior to the release of the movie while the overall digital campaign was launched in November 2012,” he explained.
The trailer of the movie was also released online during a live chat session on Google+ Hangout featuring winners of an online contest along with lead actor Farhan Akhtar and director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. As part of the marketing efforts on the digital medium, ‘The First Look Club’ was also created. Exclusive content was shared with the subscribers of the ‘Club’ 12 hours before public release. Facebook apps were also created for the songs (with lyrics), enabling fans to watch the videos on the social networking platform itself.
Some of the other Facebook apps included ‘Chase Your Dream’, which asked fans to share a realistic dream that they want to achieve in their life and ‘Milkha Fan Art’, which led to creation of user generated content. A microsite was also created as part of the digital efforts. Using the Facebook’s Connect functionality, once fans visited the site, their Facebook profile picture became part of a (mosaic) poster of Milkha Singh.
An augmented reality app was also released by Amaze Infotainment. Users could scan posters of the film from newspapers or the internet to watch video trailers. The release of the movie was also followed with the release of the official mobile game by the filmmakers. The mobile game, which is modelled on popular running games, is available on the Android and iOs platforms.
The branded story
A host of brands ran alongside the filmmakers. At last count, over 15 brands have been cross-promoting their association with the movie over the past several weeks. While some brands have chosen the television and print route, almost all of them have focused promotions on digital media. Amul, Omron, Monte Carlo, adidas, Royal Enfield, Garnier, Emami, Air India, Getit and Birla Sunlife are some of the brands which had associated with the movie.
Almost all the associating brands used scenes from the movie to show how the story connects with their brand's proposition. Some also rolled out contests to engage with the audience.
Royal Enfield organised a contest titled ‘2 Legends. 1 Odyssey’, where users could send in stories based on the theme of the movie. The winner walked away with the same Royal Enfield bike used by Farhan Akhtar in the movie. Similarly, Omron rolled out a Facebook campaign motivating people to participate in the ‘Inspiring tomorrow’ contest by sharing inspirational stories of their lives on the Omron page. Jabong.com ran a contest on Facebook and Twitter, with the winners getting an opportunity to win movie tickets and music CDs.
In the case of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, digital promotions for the movie and brands associated with it continue even after almost a month from the movie’s release date, thanks to the success of the film.