Social Media and Bollywood – a combination that has done wonders over the last few years. We have seen Bollywood actors, actresses, directors and even producers having an account in social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Besides this, many Bollywood celebrities have grown a keen interest in blogging as well. Even superstars like Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Kareena Kapoor maintain accounts in Twitter to keep in touch with the world and with their fans.
The fans get information and updates about each movement of their favourite stars through this social media. Twitter has helped the film fraternity to express their views on social issues and thus reach out to the whole world. There are facebook pages on almost every Bollywood actor, director and producer. This facebook pages are a medium which the film fraternity use in order to communicate with their fans through the videos and pictures they post. So we do understand the role of Social Media in the lives of our favourite Bollywood stars.
Now a fact that seems a bit subtle but is nonetheless true, is that Bollywood often uses the Social Media as a marketing media. Whether its the promotion of a movie or publishing digital posters or hosting contests related to a movie to be released, Bollywood stars, producers and directors know the marketing strategy through Social Media quite well.
Social media acts as a platform with the help of which the film-makers and actors can interact with their audience and this sometimes help the film-makers to popularise the movie even before its release date is announced. The audience feels that they are getting a say on what a movie’s name could be or how the movie’s poster would appear. This makes the movie global and it doesn’t remain the sole property of the producer or the director.
A recent trend among Bollywood film-makers is that they ask for public opinion on their movie through the social media and consider that opinion as final judgement. This trend has been followed by directors like Mahesh Bhatt and Prakash Jha. These two directors got help from the audience regarding the selection of the movie posters for their films ‘Murder 2’ and ‘Aarakshan’ respectively.
The age of Social media and internet has helped the film-makers to promote their movie within a few hours by posting the trailers of their movies in Facebook. People watch it and spread the word overnight.
We have also seen that Shirish Kunder literally made his Twitter followers decide the cast and crew of his movie ‘Joker’. Starting from the actress opposite Shreyas Talpade, the lyricist and even the music director, all have been collectively decided by Kunder’s Twitter followers. Amitabh Bachchan’s blog is extremely famous and has a large number of readers. He has used this medium to interact with his die-hard fans and this has made him within the reach of the ordinary.
Social media has even taken over the need for reading magazines related to Bollywood gossip. Right from the conception of a film, we have seen celebrities who are part of that movie, continuously posting something or the other about the status of the movie. This has made the audience aware even about the minute developments taking place in a film’s sets and that also from the mouth of their favourite stars themselves.
We have seen in the past that Twitter has acted as a platform for discussion between celebrities after various movie launch and premier parties. Sometimes the official facebook page of some movie to be released creates various contests and games in collaboration with large business houses. People, who get lucky and win these contests, get prizes sponsored by the business houses.
This trend was seen during the promotion of the movie ‘Kahaani’. These contests not only gave the audience a chance to win but it also revealed a part of the film’s plot so that the audience grows an interest in it.
So, needless to say, Social media does act as a marketing medium for Bollywood. It’s a platform that gives us the feeling that it is we who make the Bollywood and its movies.