SRK goes hi-tech for Ra.One success

Mumbai: Shahrukh "King" Khan has launched the digital avatar of G.One, a character that he plays in his much-awaited film `Ra.One`. He roped in UTV Indiagames to design a social game based on the film, which serves the dual purpose of marketing and entertaining in digital space.

UTV Indiagames also developed digital comics based on the film`s characters. Written by Shahrukh, the comic has weekly episodes and serves as prequel to events in the movie.

Also, an official G.One store has been launched on the film`s official website, where people could buy merchandises from the film. The 45-year-old actor collaborated with several brands like Nokia, Godrej Consumer Products, Coca-Cola, Cinthol, Gitanjali Group, Horlicks, McDonalds and others to promote the film and its merchandise.

"On digital front, we have tied up with You Tube, UTV Indiagames, Sony playstation and others. Besides promoting on digital platform, we have tied up with several brands.. some of it are new and some with which Shahrukh is already associated," Gupta said. "Also, we have entered into stationary area with `Back to School` theme where we have items like pencil, toy laptop, compass box, etc. We have tied up with international partners in places like Germany, Italy, US," she added,

Co-producers and distributors, Eros International has recovered money through in-film branding, media endorsements, music and satellite rights. The film has subsidised through brand ties-up with over 25 brands worth over Rs 52 crore.

"Every movie has its own size and accordingly branding is done. Today marketing has become an important crux of film making business. One has to pull audiences to theatres, and needs to indulge in innovative marketing," Eros International, CFO Kamal Jain, said. . "It is an intelligent recovery move. Since investment is huge there is nothing wrong in recovering the money through effective marketing and distribution. In order to have a wider release of the movie marketing has to be effective. It is a five day weekend, the movie is getting released in over 3,000 screens in India and over 500 screens worldwide," he said.

From appearing on TV shows to collaborating with brands and using other marketing tools to promote his movie, Shahrukh, however, refuses to be labelled as a marketing guru. "These terms are all nonsensical. I think every actor talks about his films in some or the other way and like them I also do things when my film is about to release. I feel I am no marketing guru," Shahrukh had told reporters. "But I do feel in order to reach out to more people one needs to be innovative so that more and more people can be made aware about your film," he felt.

Trade Analyst Komal Nahta said, "I would call this clever marketing. It is a smart move to recover money much before the release. It is business like approach. I don`t think he is going overboard with promotions. Since this movie has a huge budget, marketing plays a vital role…it has to be done on a vast scale."

"It is essential for `Ra.One` to pull up top line margins. The film stands out on Indian core like it has good songs, humour, family drama and etc," he said.

`Ra.One`, a science-fiction film, starring Shahrukh, Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal in lead roles, is all set to release on October 26 during the Diwali.