Bollywood goes minimalist with Jodhaa Akbar promotion

Written by Shaheen Mansuri | Mumbai, Feb 11 | Updated: Feb 12 2008, 05:26am hrs
After glitzy promos witnessed by the mega-crore Om Shanti Om and Saawariya, minimalism seems to be the trend that is seeping into Bollywood. The Rs 40-crore Jodhaa Akbar, directed by Ashutosh Gowarikar and presented by UTV has seen a subdued build-up before its February 15 release. The only tie-up that has been entered into is with jewellery brand Tanishq.

Siddharth Roy Kapur, COO, UTV Motion Pictures, reckoned that the company did not want to dilute the brand equity of the film with innumerable tie-ups and diffuse viewer attention. He claimed that the stature of the movie could be compromised with too many tieups. Secondly, the film, by virtue of being a historical, cannot lend itself to any contemporary brands, said Kapur who further added that the film was being publicised on radio, television channels and the Internet. Despite not having brand tieups, the marketing spend of the film is over 10% of the actual budget of the film.

In an industry known not to miss out on avenues for monetisation, this comes as a very different kind of thought-process. However film analyst Vinod Mirani cites another reason, The films starcast was also not so keen on having roadshows and other marketing and publicity gimmicks for the film.

Analysts do not rule out the fact that lessons drawn from Saawariya have increased doubt on the efficacy of aggressive promotion. The Sanjay Leela Bhansali film, which saw huge promotional efforts from broadcast, merchandising and even live events three months ahead of release, bombed badly in the theatres.

Comparing the budget of the film to Farah Khans Om Shanti Om, another analyst adds that Jodhaa Akbar is the much awaited film of 2008 and the makers believe that despite the film being shrouded in a controversy about Jodhas character in the film, the audiences would still watch fiction if it was presented in an interesting manner.