With over 62 million views on YouTube just for the trailer, Bala which released last week, has done exceptionally well in the theatres and the response for the film has been brilliant.
Harikrishnan Pillai led digital agency TheSmallBigIdea which had the mandate to make Bala the talk of the town, did a fabulous job with so many digital innovations and engagement that took the movie marketing activity to the next level.
Medianews4u caught up with Harikrishnan Pillai, CEO and co-founder, TheSmallBigIdea to talk about the Bala campaign and the way forward.
Congratulations on such a versatile digital campaign. There is so much that has been done by the team at TSBI. Tell us about the approach you take generally for marketing a film on digital. What were the insights on which you created these campaigns for Bala?
Thank you. Every film requires a contextually-fit campaign and we curate our campaigns after carefully analysing the storyline and characters. We always aim to develop campaigns which are enduring at the same time bring out the creative best for the film. Our campaign ‘BalaBechara’ juxtaposes humour with the challenges faced by the character.
The primary objective was to create empathy for our balding protagonist and finally close with the strong message that we all need to accept ourselves the way we are. From native content, to actor driven content to publisher content, we covered a wide range for optimal solutions.
How did the association with Maddock films come about? How much time did you take to create the entire campaign from ideation to conceptualizing and finally to execution?
Our last few film campaigns have been very well received by the fraternity. Quality & relevance of ideas, strong video scripts and operational excellence comes together to deliver a holistic campaign.
The success we received in the last few campaigns validates our approach and also brought our work to Maddock’s notice. They briefed us, they thought our line of thinking resonated with theirs and the rest is history.
While we understand that film-marketing on digital needs to have a lot of basic consumer trends for relatability and shareability such as a challenge or some topical content, what were some key consumer trends you saw while working on this campaign? Something specific for millennials, or GenZ etc.
The cast and the plot is the pivot for any campaign.
With Ayushmann, we played with the content to drive home the message with subtle humour and the right dose of emotion. We had to be sensitive enough not to ridicule the situation and maintain a fine balance between witty humour and emotions. We wanted to shatter the norm that everyone needs to fit into a mould to be beautiful. Finally we wanted people to feel beautiful and accept themselves the way they are. Ayushmann, Bhoomi andYami did great justice to our digital scripts and publishers ideas, which yielded results for everyone to see.
How important has Tik-Tok become for Movie Marketing these days? How affordable is to use Tik-Tok from a budget point of view for film marketing? Can a movie in the current wave of Tik-Tok followers not use the platform and still become “the talk of the town” on social media?
Tik-Tok is a new platform adding incremental audience and therefore is just as important as the others. It has given rise to a whole wave of creators and consumers of short format mobile videos. Marketers are scrambling to engage with this engaged and sizeable group of millennials from non-metros. Additionally the platform also offers high regional affinity and great creator strength. As a marketer, you are always on the lookout for new avenues to engage and reach audience and Tik-Tok seems to be doing that with tier-2-3 millennials right now.
Leveraging celebrity social media reach is an interesting way to reach out to more and more people. If you had to quantify the reach and share some insights with numbers as to what percentage contribution did different celebrities’ social media activities who aren’t a part of the film benefit the campaign’s reach?
Celebrity accounts are an asset that not only contributes to a larger reach, but also helps building affinity with a relevant target set. Non-film celeb content contributes to close to 23% of the total cumulative reach achieved by the campaign. This number doesn’t include the reach achieved by key film assets like trailer and songs. Non-film celebrities also contribute significantly to a tune of 18% to the engagement received and the sentiments in those engagements tilt positive to over 73%.
What would be the ratio of organic to paid reach of the campaign on digital and social media platforms? Since the mix of both I am sure is important for the success of any campaign digitally.
The task for the creative strategy team in agencies is make creatives which make your money on platforms work better. The planner on the other hands plans to ensure that the content created is received by the most relevant audience at optimal intervals. We also end up spending monies on non-social platforms, which do not measure organic reach. The goal of any agency is to achieve high reach, higher OTS, with high affinity audience at the least price.
Any learnings that you would want to share with us?
A few of them actually. First, Tell great, honest stories, Stay relevant and don’t over-intellectualise it. Second, talk to the right audience. Meet them at places where go and be contextual. Third, Listen. Use data to craft good stories. Don’t choose route because you like it. Choose it because the audience love it. And finally the fourth, be ready to recourse. Key duration for movie marketing is just 45-60 days. A daily reflection with fixes are imperative.