IIM-B looks at how marketing can make movies a hit

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on February 09, 2015

Case study on Bollywood PR firm Spice now part of B-school’s curriculum

The art of selling movies to movie-buffs has caught the attention of management experts.

In a first, IIM-Bangalore has done a case study on entertainment marketing communication agency, Spice, which has been involved with the promotion of several films, from big-budget blockbusters to small-budget cult movies.

The movies include some of Bollywood’s top grossers: PK, Dhoom 3, 3 Idiots, Ek Tha Tiger, Ghajini and Bodyguard. Spice also handles communication and image management for some of Bollywood’s leading actors.

The case study on Spice will now be part of the media and entertainment curriculum at IIM-B.

Decoding strategies

At a time when both films and celebrities are being sold as brands, the case study has done an in-depth analysis of Spice’s strategies for movie promotion and positioning.

Responding to an email query, S Raghunath, Professor, Corporate Strategy and Policy, IIM-B, said: “The ‘Spice case’ discussion session with students highlighted the importance of pre-release positioning of Bollywood movies, which are extremely perishable products launched in a highly competitive market.”

He said the case study captures how Spice’s positioning decisions and communication strategies helped attract the audience’s attention during the pre-release stage of these movies.

“For example, Spice was involved with a sports film … Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, which had no youth connect. None in the Gen-Next had seen Milkha in action. It was an expensive film to make, it had to influence B2B decisions, and it had to be sold to the studios as well,” he added.

The case study also looks at the process of campaign development and need for in-depth understanding of consumer behaviour and media preferences in creating campaigns for specific audience segments.\

Different world

“Entertainment products are not just marketing oriented; they are now market driven. Internet and mobile technology is changing the way consumers make their entertainment decisions and therefore it is having an impact on the way movie makers market their products to consumers,” Raghunath added.

Prabhat Choudhary, Head of Spice, adds: “It is indeed a revelation that an institution like IIM-Bangalore is taking the area of entertainment marketing this seriously. Bollywood or entertainment marketing has emerged as a specialised domain and it is increasingly getting structured. Even celebrity branding is becoming more and more specialised and skill driven.”

Spice, which started operations in 2004, was also the first Bollywood PR firm to launch a dedicated wing to customise communication campaigns for smaller towns and regional centres.

Published on February 09, 2015

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