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Home > Strategy > Ra.One, Don 2 and Kolaveri Di.

Ra.One, Don 2 and Kolaveri Di.


The last two movies (Ra.One and Don 2) of Shah Rukh Khan did not do very well (I won’t call them flops, lest the SRK fans kill me!). Even if the movies were able to garner quite a good amount of money at the box office, they failed to get the kind of response that was expected from the viewers and critics. So much so, they did not last at the theaters for more than a couple of weeks. This despite the fact that crores of rupees were spent in advertising the two movies. Every one would agree the two movies started sliding as soon as they were released. But, what accelerated the fall?

Facebook. Twitter. Social Media.

Believe it or not, even if I like SRK or for that matter any other Bollywood or Hollywood actor, I would still believe my friends more than the celebrities. If a friend of mine goes to watch the first show of the movie, and before the movie finishes, he gives his verdict on the movie, I am more likely to believe him than the full page ad of the movie in the newspaper in my hand. Whether the review by my friend is good or bad, it would have much stronger effect on me than the crores worth of advertisements on the TV and in the print.

That’s exactly what happened with the two movies- even before the first day first show ended, people started pouring out their reviews onto Facebook and Twitter. The reviews soon turned into jokes and satire. Now, if one of my friends gives a bad review of the movie, I might not trust him/her, but if my FB feed is filled with such comments, I will definitely take it seriously. So, a couple of sentences on a social media website can undo the hype which was built with crores of rupees and months of efforts- That is how powerful the social media is!

Recently, there was another phenomenon on the social sites- The Kolaveri Di.

I had never in my life heard the word “Kolaveri”. But, suddenly I started getting feeds on my Facebook page about how addictive the song was. So many of my friends ‘liked’ and ‘shared’ the song that I couldn’t stop myself from listening to, getting addicted and sharing the song on my Facebook page. I had never heard of Dhanush (the person who sang that song) or Aishwarya (the producer of the movie 3). But, thanks to the power of social media, I not only now know who these folks are but also know the meaning of ‘Kolaveri Di’. Yes, it was social media that did the trick!

What is the key here? Answer: No, not the channel of advertising, but the product (or service) itself.

Let me explain. No amount of ad-spend can sustain a bad product/service. The core of success of any business venture is the product or the service it offers (along with many other factors- ‘timing’ being one of the important ones.). Rest all is bells and whistles. There is no bigger an advertisement of your offering than a satisfied customer. And, there is no bigger a damage than an unsatisfied customer.

Going back to the two examples above, the ‘customers’ felt let down with the Don 2 and Ra.One offerings. They started pouring their angst onto the social sites. The ‘customers’ (even thought they did not pay anything directly to the film/song producer) were happy and satisfied at the ‘Kolaveri’ offering. They got to hear a very good song (some critics might argue on the ‘good’ part here), recommended by friends at almost no cost!

The crux- Get offering right and get your customers talking (positive) about the offering. In the above examples, people were ‘talking’ about both the products, but one accelerated the failure and second the success.

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