SAB BOLLYWOOD KA KHEL HAI!
Sports leagues are fast turning into playfields for film promotions
Move over reality shows and promotional events; sports leagues seem to be the latest stage for film publicity these days.
What began during the Cricket World Cup earlier this year when actor Salman Khan encouraged viewers to look out for the Kabaddi League with the Mauka Mauka ad campaign, has led on to a much bigger phenomenon.
In the new ads for the league, Salman draws a connect between his new release, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, and Kabaddi. “Zindagi do paalon ka khel hai, ek jahaan hum khade hain aur ek jahaan humein jaana hai ... bas ek line cross karni hai,” he says, urging viewers to watch his upcoming movie as well as the league.
Actor Ajay Devgn has gone the same way to promote his next film, Drishyam, with a video that draws a parallel between the movie and cricket, that is followed by crores and unites everyone.
Experts say this was inevitable. “The two Cs in India — cricket and cinema have a massive following. It is a very good idea to promote cinema through sport as a lot of people are glued to their TV sets during live telecast. These platforms give films a chance to go out to the international audience as well,” says trade analyst Atul Mohan.
Producer Sajid Nadiadwala, who successfully promoted the first two parts of his Housefull franchise during the domestic cricket league, is planning to promote the third film during the league’s next edition despite the league having run into controversy due to the recent team bans. “It is a winwin situation for the sports league as well as the film and its stars as the overall entertainment increases, drawing more eyeballs,” he says. Piku, Dil Dhadakne Do, Bombay Velvet and Shamitabh were some of the other films that were promoted extensively during the Indian Premier League and the World Cup.
Both cricket and cinema have a massive following. It is a very good idea to promote cinema through sport
Atul Mohan, trade analyst
Clockwise from top: The team of Dil Dhadakne Do, Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan, the star cast of Piku, and Salman Khan are promoting their films through sports leagues