How social media helped Padmaavat see the light at Box Office

Sarmistha Neogy
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Padmaavat movie marketing

Social Samosa takes a look at Padmaavat's movie marketing strategy and how digital media helped the film see the light of Box of Office.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's period drama Padmaavat has been mired in a slew of controversies ever since the project was announced by the producers. The protests and furore, led to the movie release getting postponed from December 1 to January 25. Touted as one of the biggest block-buster of 2017, unrest and tension around the country, led to the delay and controversies. The movie finally saw the Box Office light today and it has been quite a tumultuous journey till now.

The controversy

It all started with Karni Sena, a caste-based political outfit, vandalizing the sets erected at Jaigarh Fort in Jaipur. Videos surfaced of the fringe mob assaulting director Bhansali along with shouting anti-Padmaavat slogans. The damage included destroying expensive film equipments as well.

The sudden news surfacing of the alleged intimate scenes between Deepika Padukone, playing the role of Rani Padmaavati and Ranveer Singh, who is Alauddin Khilji in the movie, led to more tension. The actors as well as the director came out in public and made clarification about the absence of such scenes. Post which, a BJP leader from Haryana offered a bounty of INR 10 crore for anyone who could behead Deepika and Bhansali. To add to it, CBFC Chief Prasoon Joshi expressed his disappointment with the Padmaavat makers for showing the film to a few media persons before submitting it to the Censor Board last year in November.

Earlier this month, the Censor Board suggested few cuts and also the removal of the letter 'i' from the original title Padmaavati for the movie to finally release. Last week, Supreme Court  lifted the ban imposed by four states on the screening of the movie. The duo Ranveer and Deepika were asked not to make any public appearances together before the release of the movie, lest they end up causing more friction to the already controversy-engulfed movie which is accused of distorting history.

Security has been beefed up across states and the Supreme Court has directed state governments to ensure that law and order is maintained.

Unlike other big-budget movies, which usually bank on last moment promotions and content tie-ups on the internet, Padmaavat is is being forced to keep a low profile. However, digital has played a huge role in spreading awareness and has made it easier for the makers to have their word conveyed to the public. In spite of the controversies, Padmaavat has garnered tremendous support from the general public, who stood firmly with the makers and the actors, even when the film got banned and open death threats were given to the actors.

Social Samosa takes a look at how digital has helped controversy mired Padmaavat see the Box office light. and garner the much needed support.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's clarification video 

The video uploaded by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures where Sanjay Leela Bhansali appeals to the audience to allow the movie to get released and clarified regarding the absence of no illicit scenes between Rani Padmaavati and Alaudin Khilji. The video has garnered a massive 1.3 million views on the internet till now.


The movie trailers released earlier this month has garnered a lot of viewership and crossed millions of views in a short span of time. A Tamil trailer and poster of the movie was also released recently.

The song Ghoomar which created huge controversy clocked more than 95 million views online till now. In fact, according to recent reports, Deepika's midriff has been covered in the new version of the Ghoomar song.

Bollywood fraternity showed their support in times of crisis

It was extremely encouraging to see the Bollywood fraternity, from Anurag Basu to Shabana Azmi showing their support on Twitter and standing by the actors in their times of crisis. In response to the Padmaavat ban, Renuka Sahane's post demanding a ban on important issues like sexual molestation, female foeticide and rape has gone viral on social media.



Twitterati were in splits with the title change of the movie. 

When CBFC suggested the removal of the letter 'i' from the earlier title Padmaavati, Twitterati had a gala time making fun of the situation and pitied the sad state of affairs.





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Brand association

Since Tanishq has been involved in the making of the exquisite jewelleries in the movie, their promotion on the internet talks about this association.  Other brands like BookMyShow, Paytm Entertainment and UC News have been giving cashbacks and discounts on the purchase of movie tickets.

Ticket booking platform BookMyShow took a hilarious dig at the removal of the letter 'i' from the original title Padmaavati in their digital ad. Their TV ad also spoke about the hush-hush attitude of everyone around the movie and how it has become the talk of the town.

Paytm Entertainment



UC News

@filmpadmaavat, the official Twitter handle of Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Bhansali Production's Padmaavat is being used to share all the information around the movie. The actors' Twitter accounts are also being used for movie to create buzz for the online audience.

Positive Social media noise before the final release

Twitter was filled with positive reviews just before the release of the movie. From film stars to journalists, there was a lot of positive sentiments a day before the movie released in theatres.

The hashtag #Padmaavat has created enough noise on social media in the last few days. According to hashtag tracking tool KEYHOLE, #Padmaavat has acquired 34,595,530 impressions and 34,125,181 unique users on the internet.


The sentiment score of the hashtag is  22.7 percent positive, 18.5 percent negative and 58.9 percent neutral.publive-image

It will be interesting to see if Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus Padmaavat will manage to strike gold at the Box-office collections in spite of all the controversies surrounding it.


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