June 21, 2011 12:31:21 PM IST Rajesh Kumar Singh, Glamsham Editorial
It was sheer brilliance of the marketing campaign that saw the last two films from Aamir Khan Productions banner return profitable figures at the theatrical box office. PEEPLI [LIVE], and DHOBI GHAT, though critically acclaimed, could not sustain 'aam janta's' interest beyond the weekend of their release with the box office collections nose-diving Monday onwards.
DELHI BELLY is the third film in this series. It was originally made for the global audiences in English language. Now a Hindi version of the film is also being released. The film's music album has nine songs, in various Indian languages; some of them are used as promotional music videos. We don't yet know what part they play in the film, as its background score or full-fledged song and dance sequences. According to our information, about 250 prints of the film are being released overseas, more than 3 IDIOTS, the first Bollywood film to have done fairly well with the Indian diaspora as well as 'firang' audiences.
The marketing of DELHI BELLY is worth a management 'case-study'. It is an extremely focused effort that takes into account the 18+ target audience of the film and goes whole hog to bombard and overwhelm them with a clear and definite message that it is the hippest and most irreverent of the buddy films ever made. It has everything in it that suits their psyche and attitudes - from 'in your face' smart-alecky songs like Bhaag D.K. Bose to 'potty' humour. Every available opportunity and platform has been exploited to promote it, be it the Maharashtra Government's decision to raise the age bar for drinking or a textile exhibition, or even the events around the 10th Anniversary of Aamir Khan Productions and the making of LAGAAN. It is the ultimate test of Aamir's marketing might and we have to see if he gets the third time lucky. Notwithstanding the audience reaction to the film and its box office collections through the weekend starting July 1st, none can blame the thinking star for not trying his best one more time.
(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for BollywoodTrade.com. He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)