Sketches to reels: Influencers redefine film promotion – today news

  • September 1, 2023

NEW DELHI : In a marked departure from the traditional ways of marketing a movie, filmmakers and studios are increasingly turning to influencers to woo audiences to the theatres.

According to entertainment industry experts, social media influencers like Kusha Kapila, Ashish Chanchlani and Bhuvan Bam, who regularly collaborate with movie projects, command 40-60% of overall social media budgets.

Prominent influencers who produce sketches leading up to the release of a movie, often featuring lead actors, charge 2-3 lakh for a post and 5-15 lakh per reel, they added.

“Today, social media magnifies reach and engagement, pulling in global audience with ease. It’s cost-effective, allowing small productions to shine. And the instant feedback loop helps refine strategies on the go. Influencers step in around two weeks before the release, to promote a film. Their tasks revolve around building anticipation, either by highlighting the movie’s plot or showcasing a song that acts as a bait,” Manish Solanki, the chief operating officer and co-founder of digital and social media marketing agency TheSmallBigIdea, said.

Budgets are usually flexible, depending on the variety of the collaborations with artists, or music videos that serve as a teaser, or podcasts revealing behind-the-scenes secrets and even dance-offs—but all of it is to generate excitement, said Solanki. However, the involvement doesn’t end at the film’s premiere, he added.

“Even after release, influencers become critics, dissecting and discussing the movie’s ups and downs, sharing their perspectives to post-release discussions,” he said.

Mitesh Kothari, co-founder and the chief creative officer of digital marketeer White Rivers Media, said the influencers have a talent for seamlessly weaving the content into their feeds, such as trailers into their skits or showcasing unique interactions involving lead actors.

White Rivers had partnered Anushka Sen for the promotion of The Super Mario Bros Movie and with Aashta Shah for Zara Hatke Zara Bachke .

A common means of collaboration between film stars and influencers before the movie’s release is sketches, said Divyansh Gala, group head for outreach at SoCheers.

“Many influencers engage in activities that may not even have anything to do with the film’s plot.” he said, citing the instance of Varun Dhawan and Janhvi Kapoor‘s Bawaal for which the actors were seen in a video with content creator and influencer Dharna Durga.

Chanchlani, who ran a social media campaign for Ranveer Singh’s comedy drama Cirkus, has created content around Hollywood releases, including Marvel movies. “At least 50% of what was earlier spent on promoting trailers on YouTube has now gone to influencers. That is a big shift,” Gala said.

“For choosing an influencer for film promotion, the common factor is their substantial and broad audience appeal, not catering to a niche group, instead belonging to the general entertainment genres like lifestyle, music or dance,” said Hitarth Dadia, chief marketing officer and partner at Mumbai-based Nofiltr group.

“These creators might specialize in creating humorous sketches or thought-provoking content. Additionally, promotions may also involve dancers and lifestyle creators. Occasionally, these influencers might even be invited to premieres. The selection of influencers isn’t solely based on their genre but rather on the audience they can reach,” Dadia said.

Interestingly, there’s been a noticeable emergence of new and region-specific influencers from smaller towns who are gaining prominence and recognition, leveraging their unique perspectives and cultural backgrounds to connect with audiences, he added.

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Updated: 01 Sep 2023, 11:40 PM IST

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