Social Media Case Study: The Role of Digital Marketing in Phenomenal Success of Chennai Express

digital marketing chennai express

The planning for the social media marketing campaigns began months before the actual release date. The core social media strategies adopted tied in with the movie’s maxim – “Don’t underestimate the power of the common man.”

This message had special significance in India, which recently witnessed mass outpourings of public sentiment, first in support of Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign and then again on the issue of women’s safety.

Initial Focus

The initial focus was on reaching out to the core fan base, for whom the campaigns would be most relevant, and giving them a sense of ownership for the film. Key social media influencers like movie critics, trade analysts and fan clubs played a pivotal role in the campaign.

More than 25 fan clubs from across the world worked in unison to promote the film and give out a single message. Along with the launch of the initial teaser campaigns and trailers, the sentiment analysis (based on demographic, geographic and a host of other criteria) of the marketing message was absolutely vital in gaining early insights. Future campaigns benefited from this insight.

Cross-pollination of Social Networks

While Twitter is the engine for viral content, Facebook is the more personal platform, where word of mouth recommendations work better. Chennai Express’ campaigns were designed in such a way that users of one social network were often asked to go to another one for the next stimulus.

For example, the innovative video-based game “Rahul meets Meena” used movie clips hosted on YouTube, was deployed on Facebook, and took user inputs from Twitter.

Unprecedented Buzz

Chennai Express related tweets generated over 1 billion cumulative impressions and the total number of tweets across all hashtags was over 750 thousand over the 90-day campaign period.

Chennai express has made Twitter history in India as the first film to be listed in the top trends for more than 10 consecutive days. It has also become the first Indian film in twitter history to trend at worldwide no 1 with two separate hashtags #ChennaiExpress and #ChennaiExpressWeekend.

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