Kabali -a case study of the best marketing campaign


PS (Pre Script): for those uninitiated followers of my blog, Kabali is a movie featuring the most bankable and popular star in India, Rajinikanth, which is releasing worldwide today

Kabali fever is at its highest pitch…104.99….

Everyone I know of has booked the tickets for the movie…

Some, but of course, have posted their tickets on FB….rising the feverish pitch to a new level.

The news, read, planted by the PR machinary, started a few weeks back.

The news leading upto the release of this movie is the best example so far of a successful promotion campaign, for a movie. Adapt it to suit your requirement, you may still have the best campaign for your product.

# 1 Use of a completely new medium for advertisement – a plane

A flight that was painted with the colourful Kabali poster – the social media rounds made it sound like a breaking news. Yeah, breaking into a new realsm of advertising, of course. How incredibly creative! It is and I am saying this without any sarcasm.

Weather you like his movies or not, you got to give due credit to the wonderfully innovative promotional campaigns the chosen PR agency comes up with, for his movies. It is like looking at the almost visible yet invisible hands of Saundarya or Aishwarya behind these wondercrafts.

#2 Reach across to the audience through another unique platform

#3 Use the demography of die-hard fans in a different city and add it with a new medium of advertisement and multiply it with a popular Social Media channel. The outreach of the campaign becomes exponential.

How many noticed the news about the flight from Bangalore to Chennai with the ticket cost inclusive of the first day first show in Chennai? We all noticed, like duhhh…when every group that you are a member of in Whatsap is on a forward-kabali-news-mode, you can hardly not notice this news.

#4  The news and the prudent use of that special channel of Social Media that we all can confirm now that we can’t live without – in short whatsap, is to be noted here!

The die-hard fans going berserk in the FB and other platforms is the grand finale

But one should note that the movie has already made its share of mega bucks through the sale of territories, rights and tickets.

And for someone sceptical like me waiting for a non biased review  and decide to go or not to go for it, it won’t make any difference in the world of a mass movie release.  Even if we sceptics of the world get together, and skip the movie, it won’t make a wee bit difference. For the math has already worked its wonders.

And here is a non-biased review of the movie recieved through Whatsap:

Early review from a preview show in the US.

Kabali – The Review
Thanks to bay area cine industry friends, I got to watch a preview show of Kabali. I went in with no expectations and came out with mixed feelings. Kabali is paisa vasool for Rajinikanth fans while others can have equal fun mocking the aged superstar go through his paces.
The bar has been set high for Rajini, since he has already donated all his assets, built colleges, constructed dams, overthrew a Chief Minister and in general has given up his life for the masses. So, in this movie, the setting moves to Malaysia, where tamils are ill-treated and need a Messiah to save them. Enter the Superstar, who, like Nelson Mandela, spends several years in prison for his opposition to racism. When he comes out, he settles down to a regular life (think Baasha’s auto driver), until circumstances force him to become a gangster and rescue his daughter from the enemies. And of course, he becomes the leader of Tamils/Dalits in Malaysia and improves their conditions tremendously.
For a Rajini fan, this will all give him/her goosebumps. Slow motion walks, stylish poses, crisp dialogues are all there, and theatres will explode with applause each time Rajini does his carefully choreographed routine. There are flashback scenes where he looks “youth” that is sure to make his fans feel nostalgic. Director Ranjith has ensured that the larger than life image of Rajini has been preserved. In essence, it feels like a lifetime highlights of various Rajini movie scenes re-enacted.
For a casual cinema goer though, the whole shindig will feel thoroughly artificial and unbearable. The aged star with heavy makeup trying to act as a 30 year old is cringe-worthy. For someone who in real life has shied away from any responsibility, has acted without any consistency in politics, a person who has never stood up to his beliefs (he appreciated Jayalalitha getting out of prison for the case that he railed against her in ’96!), Rajinikanth again doing the act of the mass leader and people’s savior is laughable. The real life Rajini can do no right except to kindle talks about his entry into politics. But movie after movie, he does his act, and it is getting a bit long on the tooth.
Ranjith could have made a better film on the plight of the Malaysian tamils. May be that was his original plan. The movie though, ends up as yet another commercial vehicle for the Superstar. Ranjith’s Dalit politics take a backseat here. Radhika Apte is apt in her role as is Dhansika. Watch out for a surprise cameo from someone you wouldn’t expect in a Rajini film. Neruppudaa is a surprising ear worm from Santosh Narayanan.

Kabali – The Emperor’s New Clothes.



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