 The Aamir Khan starrer Ghajini has created waves at the box office by raking in Rs 90 crore worldwide on the first weekend of its release. But much before that, the film had already created waves in the world of marketing by setting new standards for the industry.  Ghajini has been marketed as ‘India’s first event film’, one that has the potential to become a successful business venture rather than just the box office success of the movie.

 Apart from the ongoing success of Ghajini, the movie was able to create much hype in the corporate world through its well tuned and finely coordinated marketing campaign pre and post movie release.  The movie had released within the country with 1,400 prints. Reliance BIG Pictures had released 213 prints overseas inorder to have maximum revenue in initial weeks of curiosity.  Ghajini is written and directed by AR Murugadass who also directed the Tamil remake of Memento. Asin, who starred in the Tamil movie, is part of the Hindi version along with actress Jiah Khan.

 “I think at a time when big opening weekends have become essential for the films' financial success, one needs to create an urgency in people to see the film in the first couple of weeks. Our marketing strategies are focused on creating this urgency." - Madhu Mantena, Producer, Ghajini, in December 2008.  "Bollywood publicists are clearly putting a whole lot of thought into how to spread the word of mouth. We are seeing more and more meaningful promotional campaigns that not just spread the word about the films but also attempting to give the film a longer shelf-life and emotional connect with audiences." - A Trade Observer, commenting on the promotional strategies of Ghajini, in December 2008

 The unofficial publicity for Ghajini began on March 20, 2008, when Aamir made his first public appearance with his 'buzz cut' - the hairstyle he sports in the film - at the premier of a Hindi film.  The promotional strategies included viral marketing, television advertising, multiplex promotion, tie-ups with several well-known brands, and merchandising.

 The Van Heusen Ghajini Collection was launched which showcased Aamir’s tycoon look in the movie which is still available at Van Heusen stores across India.  Aamir has asked ushers in PVR multiplexes to don the Aamir hair cut in Ghajini, After Ghajini was released, ushers in PVR multiplexes were spotted sporting Aamir Khan’s buzz cut.  As part of a marketing initiative, Aamir Khan also gave buzz haircuts to people for free. Big Cinemas promoted the movie by getting its 105 members of staff sporting Aamir’s hairstyle, life size models and tattoo stickers for distribution

 They also launched a collectible small statue based on Aamir Khan’s look in Ghajini, especially the tattoos and eight packs. The makers of Ghajini, Geetha Arts, claim that Aamir Khan’s statue is exquisitely carved and is a premium collectible.  Geetha Arts launched a computer game based on Ghajini, called “Ghajini The Game”,developed by Hyderabadbased “FX LABS”.Its a 3-D PC console game which was built at a cost of Rs 30 million & It attracted a lot of fans.  UTV owned Indiagames had also developed five mobile based games on Ghajini which was a huge success.

 Incidentally Aamir Khan is the brand ambassador of Tata Sky and Samsung Mobile, Tata Sky aired making of Ghajini.  Samsung Mobile went for a repositioning and launched special Ghajini edition L700 and M200 models which had preloaded Ghajini ringtones, pictures and songs.  Tata Indicom also played pre-recorded message to all its 1 crore outbound callers advertising Ghajini in Aamir Khan’s voice.

 Paid previews were viewed as another marketing strategy by film makers since they helped in generating a certain amount of buzz around the film. On December 23, 2008, the film had 300 paid previews with the ticket prices ranging between Rs. 100 and Rs. 500.  Aamir also kept up the internet marketing of Ghajini, with his blog and the new Ghajini site, which invites journalists to register on the site, upload their photos, and receive personal notes from him.

 According to a multiplex official, "The number of paid previews is so large that it is as good as a release. Earlier, we used to have three shows a day when a film released, now each cinema is having three paid previews a day prior to the release!" Earlier Hindi films like “Dostana and Singh is King” had paid previews and collected Rs. 7.5 million and Rs. 5 million respectively.  The promotional strategies adopted by the film makers resulted in generating such hype that the film showed whopping results. In contrast to the estimates made by experts that Rs. 10 million would be collected from the paid previews, the film grossed Rs. 70 million from December 23, 2008 to December 24, 2008  The collections, as of 31st December, were Rs 140 crores ,the money Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi earned in 3 weeks, Ghajini took a week to earn.",

 Ghajini’s tie up with an apparel brand, toy stores, cinema halls and a mobile phone company and more than anything Aamir not just giving the occasional interview leading up to the release, he seemed to have taken the marketing of the film as seriously as his role in the film.  The first phase of Ghajini’s marketing life cycle was quite active and promising & the second phase was made with a budget of around 50 Crore and with marketing expenses of about 14 Crore.  Aamir’s “buzz cut” attracted 18 hours of television coverage, translating into publicity worth Rs 129.6 lakh. Further TV news channels showed 31 hours of coverage translating into Rs. 423 lakh worth of publicity.

 Aamir Khan, who was present at the trial run of the movie at a preview theatre in Mumbai Wednesday, reportedly said that “Ghajini” has created a record by becoming the first Bollywood movie in recent times for which the tickets had been sold in advance for all five days of the opening week across the country.  According to trade reports, in view of the unprecedented audience expectation for the film, the multiplexes were asking the distributors to increase the number of prints,which clearly depicts the impact of marketing mania created on the audience.

 The success of the film was widely attributed to the aggressive promotional strategies adopted by the film makers in conjunction with the lead actor of the film, Aamir Khan , who played a vital role in the promotion of the film.  Also what’s noteworthy is the fact that Internet Marketing for Ghajini has been a very significant chunk of the overall marketing strategy. “Hungama” is the brain behind the Internet Marketing for Ghajini.

 There is nothing in terms of marketing initiatives that have not been covered for Ghajini, be it the teaser trailers, photos of his new looks, and, of course, internet marketing.  According to “Box Office Mojo” Ghajini's box-office totals were about Rs.280 crores ($54,316,564 USD) worldwide as of 29th of January 2009 with a total run of 37 days / 5.3 weeks, making it Bollywood's highest grossing movie of all time.  Thus given the effort that went into promoting Ghajini, the results are there for all to see which has set a new trend & also will act as a benchmark for many upcoming productions to keep up with it.


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