Cochin: In 1990, an advertisement appeared in leading Malayalam Newspapers about a girl who lost her memory following a road accident. A telephone number was also given along with the photograph of the girl, who was actor Shobana’s photo. Many dialled that number, without realising that it was part of the marketing strategy for Innale.
In Today’s age of Social Media and Influencer marketing, The makers of the Malayalam film ‘Evide’, which reached cinemas on Thursday, came up with an unusual method to use the social media for promotion. The Malayalam actor Asha Sharath’s Facebook video seeking help to find her ‘missing’ husband went viral.
The marketing ideation strategy has evoked mixed response – some of the criticism has been scathing – but it even caused a lawyer to file a complaint with the police. The Crew may not have anticipated this when a short video was posted on the actor’s Facebook page on Wednesday.
In the video, a visibly shaken Asha, sans any make-up, sought help from the public in her search of her missing husband, Zacharia. She also requested people to contact the police station at Kattappana if anyone had any information.
The video went viral, and initially many felt it was real. It has already attracted more than a 1.4 million views, 18K likes, 6.7 K comments and 8.7K shares.
Majority has expressed their displeasure in comments for being fooled by a celebrity and the way her popularity being used to mislead the unsuspecting general public. Some of them vowed not to see the film, while others wished it failure. There are, however, also people who have appreciated the different way of marketing.
The incident stands as a wrong example for influencer marketing and the kind of brand safety reactions will evoke, in case the campaign misfires.