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For the uninitiated, a 'flash mob' is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual action such as a dance, a pillow fight or synchronized clapping for a short duration, and then quickly disperse.
Recently, Big Pictures and Big Music experimented with this unique marketing strategy to promote their film Do Knot Disturb. A group of young boys and girls performed to tracks such as 'Bebo' and 'Mere Naal' from Do Knot Disturb at some of the popular malls in Delhi and did manage to garner a lot of attention. Now Big Pictures plans to create the same buzz in Mumbai too.
Just like marketing a consumer product that goes beyond standard awareness creating medium of print, TV, radio and outdoor through consumer engagement initiatives, it is imperative to practice this in film marketing too. Says BIG Pictures COO, Sunil Kheterpal. "To leverage the films' hilarious extra-marital plot, we decided to launch film trailers right on the streets of Mumbai performed by theatre actors, thus practising innovation cost-effectively. The trailers of DKD are being premiered live for Mumbai's public on their doorsteps. Mumbai is the ideal city for such initiatives to be launched - an exciting place with a bustling youth frequenting many high footfall areas especially during holidays and weekends. 24 locations, including colleges, railway stations and shopping areas traversing the length and breadth of Mumbai were chosen for the trailer performances, increasing awareness and curiosity for the film on the roads itself."
Says Girish Shah, Head of Branding Reliance ADAG and CMO of Reliance Big Entertainment's Film Entertainment business. "The real challenge for marketers is to use force multiplier ideas like these and further leverage them through PR and interactive mediums such as radio and internet."
Appointment viewing was practiced, where group company, BIG 92.7 FM announced locations and timings of the performances for people to witness these trailers live at Fashion Street, V.T. Station, Andheri West, Lokhandwala Market, National College, Bandra Bandstand and Juhu Chowpatty among others. This initiative was further accentuated by posting the live videos into cyberspace, interspersed with clippings from the film. The trailers have already commenced and the excitement on the streets is apparent with students, commuters and shopkeepers alike, dropping their work for a moment or two of live entertainment on the street. They leave with an idea of the Do Knot Disturb storyline, undoubtedly thirsty for more.
Internationally, flash mobs have been used by various brands for promotional purposes to great effect. One will have to wait and watch if the trend of using flash mobs for promotion catches on here too.