Tamil Cinema – where does the passion go after you complete the movie?

What stops you from marketing them with the same passion?

Interestingly, the much organized and extremely creative South Indian Film fraternity, that has some of the best creative outputs through its varied stories, amazing talent and technicians stop shot when it comes to marketing their piece of art.

What do you mean? Would be your reaction; at the risk of being called naïve and not clued in let me explain to you that I am not talking about traditional marketing that informs the public through a poster, a few interviews in satellite channels. In today’s day and age when the consumer is open to hearing you out amidst them being bombarded with so much of information, should you just do it the traditional way, can’t you move out of the box?

Case in point, Bollywood and Hollywood do it brilliantly. The pre release marketing and PR is as much touted and reaches a crescendo when the movie is actually launched. The role played by the actors and director in this is so rooted to the importance they gave to the film and how they are proud of the same.

And when I compare this with the Tamil Film marketing, its falls flat with a few interviews and some preview remarks and a few retweets of the movie doing well. So are we saying the concept of sustained marketing, Social media IMC, getting on top of the situation with interesting facebook and twitter engagement is not known? Taking time off to promote the movie is not heard off down south? Or walking into your next movie set is a larger priority than getting this up in an innovative way. Does the actors personal brand have a say in these things, isn’t it obvious that it will affect their personal brand at one level and if this was done better the opening week could be brighter and bigger?

Just to put a context to what I am saying, take for example the movie



How did they go about it?

Firstly Minions were everywhere! There is a pantone color called Mnion Yellow now! The Minions appeared everywhere to create hype, it was on a delivery box on Amazon, McD life-size mascots or at a favorite park. The film partnered with brands like Chiquita Bananas, Comcast and General Mills. Snapchat was a major marketing component. Giant minions for an experiential feel in theatres for people to take pics along. Apart from the help of the other franchises associated with the Minions.

Ok if the first example was a cartoon and a Hollywood example; let me take you to Mumbai.

Bajirao Mastani




Bajirao Mastani, promotions,  tons of them saw the best use of promoting the movie based on the chemistry between Ranvir Singh and Deepika Padukone among other things. There are numerous interviews, dummash videos, constant twitter and facebook posts. Ranvir literally wore his kajal a’ la Bajirao apart from sporting angrakhas, jaamas, dhotis and maintained the hair and moustache. To me its dedication to go beyond the film, give it that 200% and it comes with the pride of accomplishment.


Film studios need to break the monotony, should become increasingly creative in the way they market films to the public. Using merely posters and trailers and hoping for the best on opening day, without knowing how well or if you’ve connected with your audience at all is a gamble that’s not sure shot outcome.

With the onset of wide social media platforms to connect with the audience and testing one’s marketing strategy is much easier and effective these days. The platforms provide an excellent opportunity to locking on the target before the release or create hype and excitement for blockbusters with big star fan base.

Today a fan, a movie goer , expects entertainment beyond the two hour movie, they want you to take them through that journey and keep them in that place for a while. Smart marketers will find a way to get their audiences involved, create relationships with the characters before they even go to the theatre.

The major point in all of this is that to do the above the Actors need to spend time with the marketing strategy, going by some of the promotions it feels disjointed, it feels that the production team or the banner has to work on the marketing and the actor’s role ends with the few appearances on promotion. Actually going by worldwide stats, it’s becoming larger than that. One can get three times the effort at minimal spends if you could just change the roles of pulling the crowd.
There is no shortcut to this, Stars, should focus on the promotions, instead of 3-4 movies per year with bad promotion, 2 with great promotion, which actually earn them many fold.

Simply put!

  1. Take the Audience Seriously, its not just the movie personality today, the Celebrities Personal Branding and its reach is as important
  2. Bridge the Marketing idea with the Film’s personality and drive it in that direction for it to be more memorable for the audience
  3. Live in the role of the Movie in every sense till the next big thing happens or next movie roll out. It pays to travel with the viewer than to leave him hanging mid way.
  4. Give back as much as you take, larger flocking and larger results await you and success lasts a bit.
  5. Social media is the next big way to take Kollywood to reach the highest potential it ever did. It’s about time someone used it wisely.


When it comes to the branding and promotion it’s always been about the star and their draw, the story might pass but that idea of the person remains. The performance, the story and the actual movie play the role only after the branding, marketing and promotion brings them into the theatre.

Check every great blockbuster and I am sure the math works out just fine!


The Author is a Personal Brand Strategist and a practising brand and marketing professional. All views are her own and does not represent any company. Do write in with your views would be happy to respond.

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