#Mersal50: An analysis of how Mersal's innovative marketing strategies contributed to its success
Good stardom, great subject, and positive word-of-mouth ensure success of a film but one cannot deny that marketing and promotional techniques are equally important for the reach of a film in today's day and age. Keeping in mind that they are done to increase the scale of business and to ensure foot-falls, it is also very important that these promotions shouldn't be overdone; especially when it stands the high risk of troll-vulnerability in today's social-media world.
Sri Thenandal Films' 100th production venture Mersal stands as a good example, which stood the test of these above-mentioned factors and on the occasion of it hitting 50 days today, we bring to you the promotional strategies applied by the film's team, which in a way or two contributed to the huge popularity of a brand today i.e. Mersal.
Subject Related Promotions:
Thenandal Films' calculated use of taglines and anthems were a huge treat to the fans of their lead star, Vijay. However, these usages were not random and every step was taken to make it look organic.
For example :
- Promotion of Ilayathalapathy to Thalapathy: The title jump was not out-of-the-blue. The film had a Father Vijay, an elder son Vijay and a younger son Vijay. Also the Father Vijay was named Thalapathy in the film as a reference to his matured status.
- Aalapporan Tamizhan: This famous track by A.R. Rahman was the first single to be released from the film and instead of uplifting the hero, the song spoke about the pride of "Tamizhians". While it grabbed many eye balls, it turned out the song took place in the film after the "victory" of a "Tamizhan" over a Punjabi and also to welcome the newborn.
Team Mersal knew whom they were catering to and did not take their audience for granted. These moves of grabbing attention yet following it up with a justifiable film proved to be not only clever but also profitable.
Optimum Use of Social Media:
As we said earlier, we live in a social media world and Mersal's film-makers ensured every possible yet unique attraction while promoting their film on these media.
1. Mersal Hashtags with Emoji: Though these have been common for quite some time now, Mersal was one of the firsts in Tamil cinema to have one. So much so that even the last day of Mersal Hashtag with emoji availability had made it to news portals ( read here).
2. FB Messenger Interaction: Again a first for Tamil cinema, team Mersal had activated an interactive ad throughout Facebook, where users got to send their thoughts about the film (and got replies for it too), through the chat-enabled section of the ad.
This pretty much helped in not only gaining the audience's attention but also engaging it in their every move.
The Interactive Marketing
Added to all this, there were the usual promotional strategies as well which encourages fans of their lead star/film to recreate a look, a pose or a dialogue. This was even mentioned in our pre-mersal release interview with producer Hema Rukmani, who had said,
"Vijay Sir has this connect with the masses that we worked on, using the slow interactive marketing technique. Personally, I am a Vijay fan and I could see myself reacting to every bit of it. It was a win-win for both us and the audience."
The controversies - Blessings in disguise:
While one talks about Mersal and its popularity, it would be unfair to completely forego the controversies that surrounded it. Though nowhere in their marketing plan, team Mersal has to be given credits for underplaying with the responses and maintaining a balanced reaction to each and every problem it faced (problems in question being opposition to GST, Digital India dialogues, delay in no-objection certificate from Animal Welfare board which led to delay in film's censorship).
Be it Vijay's stardom, Rahman's music, or the topical issues coated on its story, Mersal had a lot to be attributed to its gigantic success. However, the innovative effort put in by the marketing team definitely worked big time for the film as well and that effort deserves a hearty applause on the day that is no less than a milestone for film Mersal.