Case Study: How Ankur Arora Murder Case used Social Media to Promote the Film
Ankur Arora Murder Case
The movie received excellent critic ratings & positive word of mouth however failed to dazzle at the Box office.
Here is an overview of the Social Media Marketing strategy adopted to promote the movie. Certainly the initial campaigns suggest (Likes/ Comments/ Shares per post on Facebook) that vanilla strategies of promoting a regular mass appeal Bollywood movie wouldn’t work. IntelliAssist then created out-of-the-box Light a Candle for Justice campaign to engage youth & spread a positive word of mouth. Full case study is as below.
Produced by Dhanraj Films & ASA Productions & Enterprises Limited, Ankur Arora Murder Case (AAMC) is Bollywood’s first Medical Negligence drama that is inspired by true events.
Digital & Social Media Marketing
Just like any other Bollywood film, AAMC used social media to promote the film and engage prospective audience to create positive word of mouth. IntelliAssist, a full-service digital marketing agency, was hired to manage the campaign for a period of four months. Focus was on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube; the company also used entertainment and infotainment portals to create a buzz online.
When it’s brand Vikram Bhatt, the first association is Horror and the second is Thriller. AAMC was a medical negligence drama that was inspired by true events and addressed an urgent and disturbing social issue, Medical Negligence. The key talk points were:
- Death & suffering due to Medical Negligence is a crime & the criminal shouldn’t go unpunished
- A death in the Operation Theatre due to negligence is plain Murder
- Not only the poor, anyone can be a victim of Medical Negligence – the Rich & Affluent, the famous & powerful… It could be someone living next door… It could be you!
The communication plan revolved around highlighting mother and child bond. Also, real-life medical negligence cases that have been reported in the recent past were shared with the audience to sensitize them. This seemed to work initially; a polll created on Facebook initiated a debate between medical students and others. A few physicians also agreed that medical malpractices prevails and the country needs to act swiftly!
Campaign 1 – Who was Ankur Arora?
In the initial phase, IntelliAssist ran a campaign – WHO WAS ANKUR ARORA? We made use of old movie pages & Twitter handles to promote the upcoming movie. The objective was to create awareness on the movie and get the name registered in minds of prospective audience.
Campaign 2 – Meet the cast
Since the movie had relatively fresh faces (other than Kay Kay Menon & Tisca Chopra) it made perfect sense to introduce the cast to the audience and also tell a story in a subtle manner.
Campaign 3 – Victims of Medical Negligence
There are several reported cases on Victims of Medical Negligence (celebrities and common man). These were shared on Facebook & Twitter pages; the idea was to sensitize audience & help them relate with the movie theme and the social evil that needs immediate attention.
The campaign did gain momentum initially but there was something that was required to do differently to enhance engagement.
Campaign 4 – Do you remember
This was a short three-day campaign to reinforce key findings from the recent show Satyameva Jayate. They made use of some facts, quotes and numbers to establish the fact that medical malpractices and medical negligence has been affecting several!
With slow and steady increase in fan base they were observing a drop in the engagement levels; a fresh campaign was roped in to boost performance. Our analysis reveled that the youth, which comprise of active users of social media and are also a majority of movie ticket purchasers, are neither able to relate with death nor with mother-child bond (most teenagers tend to turn rebellious). They further affirmed that an idea of being part of a CHANGE for a better world for a brighter tomorrow excites and motivates them. They made use of this key insight and launched fifth campaign – Light a Candle for Justice.
Campaign 5 – Light a candle for Justice
They created a virtual event on Facebook, Light a Candle for Justice. Rather than developing any fancy and expensive application, the idea was to make use of a simple in-built Facebook feature and create engagements. The five-day campaign made use of 15 posts to invited audience to light five candles:
• Day 1: Candle of Awareness. It was established that the crime has happened and the offender should not go unpunished
• Day 2: Candle of Hope. Hope is the only thing that this mother who has lost her child has!
• Day 3: Candle of Courage. “Aaj Kuch Toofani karte hai”. Jumping off a mountain cliff is not necessarily courage. It takes courage to speak truth and expose those who are guilty.
• Day 4: Candle of Protest. Audience was encouraged to join a virtual event and voice their anger against medical negligence by lighting a candle online.
• Day 5: Candle of Justice. Audience was encouraged to join a virtual event and voice their anger against medical negligence by lighting a candle online.
A Twitter contest was run at the same time. #LightACandle was trending for over 36 hours across cities in India. Tweeple helped in increasing views of theatrical trailer and also event RSVPs. Average engagement (Like/ Comment/ Share) per Facebook post increased by about 2.5 times. Many people joined the event and also left back comments – expressing their frustration, anger and support to the cause.
Online portals like SantaBanta.com and FridayRelease covered the campaign as an innovation. The headline read, “A Bollywood Movie is asking its audience to Light a Candle for Justice”.
It’s not necessary that all good things end well. AAMC story was no different. Inspite of positive word of mouth, fantastic review and rating by critics and audiences the movie did not fare well at the Box Office. What could be the reason?