2008 The Webrising: Aamir Khan Leads the Bolly Brigade with Internet Only Promotion for Ghajini

Movie Still of Aamir khan\'s GhajiniThe way Aamir Khan has been using the web recently for kicking things up a notch, is to my mind phenomenal. And now we hear that he is planning an Internet only promotion for his latest flick Ghajini. Internet only did I say? Yep, or the better way to put it, no television promos for this one baby.

According to SmashHits, which reported this story, Khan stands a chance to reduce his promotional expenses significantly by using the less ‘costly’ Internet medium, and it is this that drives the decision to contribute to an web only promotion.

But WATBlog being WATBlog feels that the recent success of Jaane Tu a Jaane which had a predominant Internet presence might have been the crucial factor in such a decision. Aamir had used his blog extensively to promote Imran and his debut movie (which making it seem like a sales effort we must admit) . To my mind it was a complete and excellent Internet marketing strategy whether planned or natural, because it went beyond the movie’s release and smartly garnered repeat visitors for the flick. Like using the blog to ask a question about an additional song, and then using the evergreen tactic of time sensitive offer, “…the song would only run for a week,” was classic marketing and yet so new media in its execution. Read this post by WATBlog about other instances that Aamir used.

Those who had a close eye on JTYJN’s digital marketing efforts might also recall some innovative advertising on part of MSN and the promoters of the movie, wherein we saw some cool rich media advertising. I will get the screenshots of the same later for you guys. They were certainly different from the regular banners and did a smart job of promoting a new comer the way it is meant to be. (The ad basically had Imran walking across the site and knocking on your screen and fading away. )

With Ghajini, Aamir also has a mobile phone version of the movie’s website in mind. And, the entire online promotion is planned to be out by the end of October.

Now despite all the innovative efforts that went behind in his previous venture, we feel the power of social media wasn’t used to its fullest potential then. File and Media sharing, microblogging and other popular blogs weren’t used optimally then, and can provide a kick ass solution this time. I mean something as simple as goof ups during shooting or Aamir’s training regimen to build his bulk as a video on YouTube will set the site on fire and go viral like anything. And these are just two of the numerous gimmicks one can have. With Youtube launching their Indian version and Myspace still being a nascent player in the Indian context and to add to them the new crop of Indian social networks, they are sure to jump on this statement and would be licking their lips in anticipation.

While the success of the film might not entirely depend on the online promotion given that it is an Aamir Khan movie, the fact that one of the industry’s biggest stars and now a successful producer has the gumption to look forward means we can see more people following suit. And they should. And forget Bollywood regular marketers need to learn a lesson or two that their MBA didn’t teach them from this effort.

The opportunities are so many, especially with regards to social media. Have media sharing sites to promote the film and use sponsors to earn money from them as well. Have media downloads through file sharing services and save on costs. Use blogs to write a review of your website, and build links to get a good SEO result so much so that you won’t even need a PPC campaign. Use the mobile enabled social networks to your advantage and have a mobile enabled promotional tactic in place. The list is potentially endless, and with the right minds working on it, you can have a strong campaign working for you without lighting a fire in your pocket.

Hoping this is the rise of the web in mainstream cinema promotion for the good.

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