What The Advertising World Can Learn From Bollywood Stars

7 mins read

Did someone scream Ghajini? Like for its marvelous marketing? And the ingenious plot too? Let us join the camp? The calm male diva in the avatar of a rowdy and amnesic hulk became the box-office magnet, and the movie emanated a 100 crore club. Aamir Khan is a marketing genius and we know that by the impeccable marketing campaigns drawn up for his movies, which you’ll know about later in this post (stay tuned!)

Let’s celebrate the legacy of Bollywood’s smashable campaigns (also, let’s do some chhambak chhallo) with the spirit of Bollywood heroes.

Pad Man

Three cheers to Akshay Kumar for being the taboo breaker spree of Bollywood and giving education a dose of reality and humor. The Pad Man is undeniably a progressive movie of its own and we are happy to include its marketing in our list. The premises centered around the “unspeakable” topic of menstrual hygiene with a taste of quirk and humor. There was no trailer launch even held, though a press conference was held after 6 days. The actors visited the renowned schools of IITs and IIMs to have real conversations with the students. The protagonists from a woman-centered TV show airing in Sony TV were called upon to talk about the issue, and the entire machine of real-life Padman was installed in Big Boss to which Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan made live pads in the grand finale. The team also collaborated with the National Innovation Foundation of India hosting an exhibition of products that has benefitted society, and with Franchise India to reward good capital to the best startups. Even the #PadmanChallenge hosted on social media took the social space by storm with celebrities posting pictures about ‘Natural Period’ showcasing a pad in their hands.

Source: News 18


While encroaching on the league of SRK’s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Ghajini set their ball rolling some 2 weeks before release. The staff at leading multiplexs’ were convinced to go for the buzz-cut patronizing the movie. Of course, while viewers step in to watch RNBDJ the first attraction will be the staffs’ imitation of the upcoming film. While audiences were mainly expecting serious action, the light and quirky scenes in the first half convinced the viewers to spread good words about the film. Also, the re-written climax by Aamir himself was appraised well, and as expected, word-of-mouth was positive. The film was a blockbuster hit reaching the unprecedented target of 114 crores.

Source: Bollywood Hungama

3 Idiots

A movie depicting reality driven by humor, friendship, love, and support – may be the engineering students can relate more? The film is undeniably one of the greatest pieces of all time, and the marketing was out of the ordinary too. If you were too hooked with the 3-idiots (even before its release) you might remember Aamir Khan’s shocking disappearance while promotions? Yes, he did disappear, which of course was a planned attack on the curious onlookers. Viewers were asked to track Aamir with the winner bagging away exciting prizes. The game was launched on the official website of 3 Idiots and fans were kept informed through Facebook and Twitter. The filmmakers did some quirky nutjobs in promoting the film, like painting the walls of washrooms in cinema halls with slogans “You are an idiot” and nearly 10,000 rickshaws were used promoting the movie with stickers and slogan “Capacity: 3 Idiots”. Collaborating with 92.7 FM, the team encouraged
listeners to showcase their idiocy in an attempt to find the fourth idiot.

Source: Bookmyshow


Tapping into the realm of social listening, the makers took Phillauri’s marketing seriously generating a good deal of buzz on social. Anushka Sharma playing the main protagonist in the role of a friendly ghost Shashi convinced the legions that Shashi is omnipresent. Various images showing the presence of Shashi, edited by makers and fans circulated in social media under the campaign #ShashiWasThere. Every image was funnier than the other and made fans talk more about the movie. Phillauri’s marketing strategy also included the use of 3D holographic projection in theatres, where Shashi’s 3D image floated around the box making conversations with the cinema-goers.

Source: Koimoi

Source: Adgully

Aashiqui 2

Maybe we’re a bit over the line, but you’ve enacted the jacket scene right with Tum Hi Ho playing in the background? The film was a buzz, for its melodious tunes and the hearty romance between the singers. Agree? The makers successfully actioned In-Cinema Advertising by putting up mannequins imitating the iconic jacket scene from the movie in the screen halls of Ek Thi Daayan.

Most successful marketing campaigns in Bollywood

Source: Indicine

Don 2

Farhan Akhtar’s films have never seen regular promotions, but a twist of tale. For Don 2, Akhtar himself penned down 11 one-liners in Don’s voice and mannerisms. The quotes were released every Friday over television, print, radio, and the internet till the film hit the theatres. The 11 tongue-in-cheek lines were shot with SRK narrating the dialogues and the series goes under the title ‘Don Says’.

Our Bollywood is no less a marketing hub with creative intellectuals smashing scripts and records. By cleverly integrating the diverse culture of India and the habits of Indians, filmmakers and stars have challenged the traditional norms of advertising and rolled out impeccable maneuvers – we cannot help but be proud of them. So, what’s been your favorite marketing move?