Those associated with marketing of RA.ONE did not leave anything possible to associate it with the movie, be it the bicycles, or the car, or the game consoles, anything and everything that they could imagine could have a synergetic association and lead to conversion as eyeballs for the movie in the cinema halls as tried upon. Shah Rukh Khan for that matter went for the overkill and traveled around the countryside to market his magnum opus RA.ONE. But did the overkill killed the product and developed apathy in minds of the audience about the film?
Let's compare it with ROCKSTAR! ROCKSTAR is being marketed on a very low key, latest attempt being to have a concert, where Rahman, Mohit Chauhan took central stage, while Ranbir Kapoor, the lead actor of the film was content just strumming the guitar on the stage. Another step in marketing the film was attempted when Imtiaz Ali and Ranbir Kapoor went to Kashmir valley to spread awareness about ROCKSTAR. Though release of ROCKSTAR is just a week away, Imtiaz Ali is not getting swayed by marketing 'wizards' and is gravitating to a situation of allowing ROCKSTAR to publicize for itself when it hits the silver screen. It seems what happened four years ago when OM SHANTI OM and SAAWARIYA had competed at box office, and OM SHANTI OM had come on top, could be reversed with ROCKSTAR having an upper hand at box office.
As a matter of fact the business of media planning around a movie, pre-release to be specific, needs to be relooked into, and the approach of commoditization of the film needs to be revisited. It is high time that packaging of film pre-release needs to be relooked into as it is costing a bomb to the producer and the returns are not commensurate with the efforts. Some examples would illustrate the point in a much better manner. It all started with KITES in a big way, and was followed up BLUE. As is the wont of the industry that if somebody takes a lead in one direction others also try to copy it, without looking into the consequences. So hype started getting built around a film and the premise of building the hype was to gain as much a footfall as could be possible in the first week of release of the film itself, but can one fool an average moviegoer? Fate of RAAVAN, CHANDNI CHOWK TO CHINA etc., all are illustrative examples underlining the fact that one cannot gloss over an average product by supposed smart packaging. One does not know whether when losses of a film are calculated, the amount spent in marketing a film is included in it or it is treated as a sunk cost, because if it were to be included then the number of hit films in a year which actually plummet like anything.
As one of the aficionados on cinema based at Bangalore, Rahul Tandon, after watching RA ONE observed, the human mind is trained to take path of past success, and it takes training and passion to seek alternate path, and this is precisely the dilemma that the industry is facing presently. A film maker is being guided by a success of the past, and does not have the courage to seek an alternate path, inspite of the fact that the seekers have been appreciated and rewarded by the audience.
May be, post RA.ONE, one would start giving it a thought. After all, economics of film making cannot continue to struggle on the uphill climb continuously and kinetic energy in the form of alternate path needs to be found to turn it into a money spinner, an upward ascending curve, rather than a Eddie current type of formation that returns of film making in Hindi cinema have become.