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B-schools finally wake up to Bollywood films!

By HT

New Delhi, Feb. 20 -- Bollywood films have, of late, become famous for jazzy and in-your-face promotional campaigns. From stars visiting colleges in the Capital, to making timely appearances in reality and fiction shows before the release of their film, there is a lot involved in the publicity process.

But have you ever wondered about the dynamics behind such marketing activities? Now, a first ever-case study done by IIM (Indian Institute of Management) on film promotion aims to decode the logistics behind these marketing campaigns. The study was carried out by IIM Bengaluru's Dr S Raghunath, and the subject was film promotion and publicity agency Spice. The research aimed to study the agency's role in the pre-positioning of movies.

"Marketing is as crucial today as the making of a film. While it can certainly enhance the success of a movie, wrong marketing can also damage the prospects equally," says Prabhat Choudhary, head of Spice. "The case study highlighted that customer sophistication, media proliferation and fragmentation of mass market has made it vital for movie makers to maintain a consistent voice and message over multiple media," says Raghunath.

In the study, Raghunath also found out that agencies like Spice were expanding their reach where regional cinema dominated the regional, small town and rural markets. "The study highlighted our work on Ghajini, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and PK. It also looked into our efforts to communicate about these films to smaller cities in India," says Choudhary.

Interestingly, IIMs across India are going to use this case study as part of their curriculum. "Films and celebs are different brands and closely linked with popular culture. Today, a large section of brands use actors and Bollywood for endorsements, so it's important that management students get their head around this universe," says Choudhary.

Moving forward, what kind of innovation will agencies aim at in the future? "How we use digital and smart phone platforms will be key factors in the future," says Choudhary.