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Don 2 bets big on new media for promotions

Varada Bhat  |  Mumbai 

“Glad you liked the 3D surprise in the morning paper. See ‘Zaraa dil ko Thaam’ in 3D. See you there on Google+ Don2 page,” tweeted Farhan Akthar, director of Don 2: The Chase Continues, which releases this Friday.

Unveiling the music launches exclusively on web and using new media as a main tool for promotion aren’t the type of marketing initiatives you would associate with Bollywood. But using technology to innovate movie marketing has gone unabashedly high with Don 2, which is co-produced by Excel Entertainment and Reliance Big Pictures.

The movie has tied up with Google and YouTube for its new media initiatives. According to the collaboration, viewers could watch a few songs from the movie in 3D on their computers using 3D glasses. The movie has also associated with McDonalds and Cafe Coffe Day in 20 cities to provide free internet access using Wi-fi in their outlets.

Movie  Year  Budget Collection 
(Starring Amitabh Bachchan)
1978 33.31* 
Don: The Chase Begins 
(Starring SRK)
2006 31 49
Don: The Chase Continues 
(Starring SRK)
2011 90  releases 
on Dec 23 
*adjusted with inflation, 1978 collection is Rs 3.31 crore;  Figures in Rs  crore
Source and industry officials

The movie also has a game titled “Don — The Social Mobsters Game’, which was launched on Facebook.

“Though ads have been booked in all leading publications, television and billboards, it is for the first time that the brand integration has focussed so much on online medium than traditional mass market mediums,” says Priti Shahani, chief strategy and marketing officer, Reliance Big Pictures.

Brand experts say social media has always been used in Bollywood films before. Pritie Jadhav, COO, P9 Integrated, says there have been stray movie promotions of this nature, but it is for the first time that a film has incorporated such a huge new media campaign for a movie.

According to Farhan Akthar, the idea was to innovate and not do traditional marketing which films do. “Don is an established brand and the brand itself should attract audience,” said Akthar.

The movie which is a sequel to Don: The Chase Begins, which was released in 2006, is a remake of the movie starring Amitabh Bachchan, released in 1978. The movie had a cult following and collected Rs 33.31 crore (adjusted after taking into account inflation; the collection in 1978 was Rs 3.39 crore). Riding on the brand, the 2006 version of Don, made at a budget of Rs 31 crore, collected Rs 49 crore.

Marketing officials and distributors also suggest that considering over exposure of Shah Rukh Khan during Ra.One, producers have kept the promotions very selective.

Set in the world of gangsters and the drug trade, Don2: The Chase Continues, takes off from where the original ends, with Don escaping the clutches of the police. This time around, Don, who is being chased by police for five years, decides to get braver and in an attempt to expand his network, he shifts focus to dominate the European drug market where he becomes more ruthless and cunning with a master plan. The action shifts from Malaysia to Berlin, and Don must avoid assassination or arrest so that his plan succeeds.

The movie is being released across 2800-3000 screens in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu in 2D and 3D format in India. “The movie could have a good opening as it is releasing during Christmas weekend, which has traditionally done well for Bollywood with hits like Ghajini, 3 Idiots and Taare Zameen Par,” said Suniel Wadhwa, an independent film distributor.

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First Published: Tue, December 20 2011. 00:48 IST