With Netflix & Red Chilies’ newest thriller dark-comedy Darlings, the makers took an ominous and suspenseful route to reach the audience in addition to a heavily product-centric marketing strategy.
Netflix’s newest thriller flick Darlings, starring Alia Bhatt, Shefali Shah Vijay Varma, and Roshan Matthew unlike other thrillers took a humorous take on a taboo topic like domestic violence in marriages. Just like the movie's undertone, the makers decided to take a suspenseful and quirky route in the flick's marketing strategy.
Here’s a run-down of the Darlings movie marketing strategy:
The Build-Up - Darlings Marketing Strategy
As early as March 2021, the makers started leaving crumbs about the movie’s release, creating an ahead-of-time buzz. Without giving away the plot or the essence of the movie, Netflix dropped a teaser setting a suspenseful tone with a ‘Statutory Warning’.
With the teaser release, the makers unveiled the movie name, overall message, and a sneak peek into the tagline that appeared throughout the promotions.
Netflix released a short ‘coming soon’ video featuring the star cast of the movie. The clip had the stars dodging various impending questions around the movie creating more excitement among the audience.
Teasers & Trailer drop
Following the undertone of the movie and the previous promotional stunts, the makers yet again released a similar teaser which didn’t quite give away the plot and cleverly used word-play that showcased the genre of the movie.
The teaser had the actors in character and set the tone of the movie which gave a hint about the basic premise – Dark, Comedy, and Suspense.
After giving the viewers a handful of teasers and snippets of the much-awaited flick, the makers finally released the full-length trailer and the release date of the Netflix original.
Hanikaarak Darlings V/S …
To maintain the quirkiness of the entire movie which revolves around domestic abuse in a marriage with a humorous twist to it, the makers released a series of shorts showcasing the different ways everyday things might be ‘Hanikaarak’ for you if you insult a woman.
These shorts had Badru played by Alia demonstrating the ways things could go wrong in an ominous and funny way.
Taking memorable moments from the trailer the makers released their own meme templates. The actors joined in on the fun as well. Soon the template was widely distributed and fans, brands, and memers participated equally.
When it’s 6:50 but school starts at 7. pic.twitter.com/UMtjyXQyuJ
— Netflix India (@NetflixIndia) July 25, 2022
Also Read: Inside Stranger Things Marketing Strategy: How Netflix created a regionally relevant content mix
Partnering with brands
Lastly, the makers of the movie collaborated with a number of brands that had some parts to play in the movie.
This includes Western Digital as their exclusive digital storage partner. As a part of the partnership, Western Digital launched DVC featuring the lead character Badru, highlighting the benefits of a SanDisk dual drive.
Similarly, the movie also partnered with other brands like Daawat and Eva.
The collaborations ended with a contest conducted by Milton homewares with the #MiltonForDarlings contest. The contest had the audience tag and mention their ‘Darlings’ on their stories and posts in the template which increased their chances of meeting the star cast of the movie.
Leveraging The Cast & Crew's Social Media
The movie was heavily marketed - shared, spoken about, and teased, on the Instagram handles of their entire case and crew. Alia Bhatt, for instance, dropped a new photo album every day, flaunting new outfits and reminding of the impending movie release.
Vijay Varma and Shefali Shah too were seen giving a countdown to the release. Further, all the offline movie promotions were actively shared on social media by the cast and crew, and pap accounts such as Viral Bhayani and Manav Manglani.
Post-release, the new movie got embroiled in a social media backlash case as #BoycottAliaBhatt trended, where many accused the movie of promoting domestic violence.
To understand what’s happening in the movie marketing space, here are a few more articles that you can look at.