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Entertainment – Now, producers budget for more to market films

Meena Iyer

MUMBAI: Digest this: the marketing budget of Ashtavinayak Cine Vision’s Blue for this week alone is estimated to be a shock-inducing Rs 1.75 crore.
Needless to point out, a producer could fund an entire small film with that amount.

Welcome to the age of hyper marketing budgets launched by films like Kambakht Ishq (over 15 crore), followed by All the Best, Do Knot Disturb, What’s Your Raashee, Wanted and Dil Bole Hadippa. The last five have collectively spent around Rs 40 crore to make their presence felt, however, Blue, with its reported marketing budget of Rs 17 crore, beats everyone hands down.

Conservative producers are shocked at the kind of money being spent on television spots. Indeed, films being released on October 30 like London Dreams and Alladin and November 7 like Ajay Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, have been unable to get TV spots for their promos because between the Diwali releases-Blue, All the Best and Main Aur Mrs Khanna-several channels have very little air time left. Says London Dreams producer Vipul Shah, “Sure, films need to make a noise to get noticed, but I fail to understand why it should be cacophony. Surely they can be marketed more prudently?”

Film marketing czar Karan Johar also believes more in technique rather than vulgar spending. His recent film, Wake Up Sid, spoke volumes without screaming. But Johar admits that “the marketing energy that surrounded the film has been an important factor in its success”.

Of course, common sense says that huge marketing budgets have nothing to do with box-office results-as a trade consultant points out, films like Kambakht Ishq and What’s Your Raashee got great visibility but poor patronage. On the other hand, Ghajini, one of the biggest hits of all time, is considered a fine example of great film marketing. “There were films that spent much more on publicity before and after Ghajini. It was the effectiveness of communication that mattered. It was very carefully structured marketing. We didn’t just buy bulk television spots,” says Priti Shahni, head of marketing, Indian Films.

One prime reason why the Diwali releases are going ballistic is because three films with inflated budgets are being released simultaneously. “And so every producer is in a rush to outdo the others without judging or going by his own fundamentals,” says a film publicist. But as Prabhat Choudhary of Spice says a big budget can help in communicating a film only if you have figured out your goals correctly.

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October 15, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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