Kochi: Hundreds of films release in Mollywood every year, and at times it is difficult to stay afloat in the midst of tough competition. Even star-studded movies are looking for new marketing trends. Mammooty’s Gangster was the first Malayalam movie to have a poster launch function and its posters went viral all over the social media immediately after the launch.
Following in its footsteps is Mohanlal’s much anticipated upcoming movie Peruchazhi, which has also decided to have a poster launch function. This new trend is giving more prominence and value to behind-the-screen film promotion and advertisement experts in Mollywood. Recently, even a tribute album was launched to honour the contributions of film advertisers to films.
Sajeesh M. Design, who conceived and directed the tribute album Celluloid Fantasy says, “The concept of ‘first look’ of posters and advertising are gaining ground in the Malayalam film industry because it can create a deep impact among the audience. It piques curiosity and make the plot intriguing. In the old days, film advertisers used manual means to make posters and it was launched a few days before the release of the film. Today, posters and first look teasers are in demand right from the time a movie is announced.”
Posters and teasers occupy a space between art and advertising. They have a clear commercial purpose to promote the film but they also have artistic value. The film advertisers use title graphics and some major elements of the theme to present the film. “When we made the posters of Peruchazhi, we did a conceptual photo shoot with Lalettan.
We incorporated the satirical elements and highlighted Mohanlal’s look. Each poster is like a comic strip — initial posters didn’t show his looks and gradually we unveil the highlights of the story,” says Deepak Balraman one of the members of Friday Peeps, who handles the department of promotions and film advertising.
With the advent of digital technology, promotion and film advertising is assuming a whole new meaning in the new media. The prominence of technical know-how is taking the upper hand. When a teaser of a movie is created, the cast and crew update the date and time of its release on Facebook and YouTube, so that people look forward to watch it, thereby giving the movie a commercial advantage.
Jithu Livingstone, the managing director of Café Papaya, says, “This new concept of poster launch and teaser trailers is definitely going to inspire others to follow the trend. This will create a balanced team, where the film crew and promotional crew have an equal part to play. The importance of promotional groups like Papaya Media will also get a boost”
However, the trend is applicable only to certain films. “In my personal opinion, it is a case-to-case basis. Not all movies need such promotional events like poster launch and teaser trailers. At the end of the day, the film works out only if the audience accepts it. An advantage of such concept is, that particular movie is gradually building a relationship with the audience,” says actor and scriptwriter Ahmed Sidhique.