Bollywood marketing goes mobile

MUMBAI, May 18, 2011 (AFP) – Times have changed in Bollywood from the days when all that was required to promote a film was a giant, hand-painted poster, a television or cinema trailer and the pulling power of a star actor. Now, the popular Hindi-language film industry is harnessing the latest technology, hoping that the explosive increase in mobile phones and rapid take-up of the Internet will draw in much-needed audiences.

In the first move of its kind, the upcoming Hrithik Roshan film “Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara” (You Only Live Once), will be promoted only via mobile phone and online.

Film studio Excel Entertainment has tied up with one of India’s leading mobile phone companies, Aircel, to push two three-minute trailers for free to its 55 million subscribers.

Producer Ritesh Sidhwani said such technology enabled more targeted marketing for films, which are facing increasing competition from other forms of entertainment and are no longer guaranteed healthy box-office returns.

“We felt we needed to go beyond voice to promote ‘Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara’ and therefore we came up with this idea,” he told a news conference in Mumbai on Sunday.

“I think it will work fantastically because mobile rea