Bluffing in Business

Bluffing in Business

When I thought bluffing and over-the top promotional strategies are not for India, Bollywood proved me wrong. Ra.One is one mega example I can give of how to bluff and win in the glamor business. Though the film has been critically ignored, it is reported to have received its share of profits. And the reason obviously is aggressive promotions or should I say desperate hopping at every other TV show and malls and railway stations. Even The Dirty Picture, which is all set to release in December this year is being promoted for the past few months. And Vidya Balan is another classic example who got into the skin of her character and is making desperate media appearances as ‘Silk’.

In this era where marketing is indispensable for any product or service, it is naturally expected that you promote your movie to an extent, but not creating hype. You talk to the media, engage with people on Social Networking sites and let your promos and trailers do the talk more than your blabber. Let your work and the end product make news. I believe strong content will always be successful with proportionate promotion and word-of-mouth.

And I least expected that Tollywood would follow the suit. Following the bandwagon is something our industry loves. Bollywood follows Hollywood and Tollywood follows Bollywood. The cycle never stops. Now, Telugu cinema audiences are on the verge of becoming victims of bluffing in business. Though expensive promotions haven’t been adopted in the Telugu industry as yet, bluffing is something many directors and producers are doing uninhibitedly.

criticleo_dookuduThe recent so called all time hit, Dookudu has wallpapers and hoardings boasting of these lines:

  • The most expensive movie in Telugu Cinema.
  • Breaking all time records.
  • 50 days and still running successfully in 200+ centres (there were movies in 80s and 90s which ran until 200+ days)
  • Made 50 crores in the first week itself
  • Super star creates history
  • Breaking records worldwide!
  • First Telugu movie to make 1 billion

These are few statements I got to witness in the recent past. And the movie in question is an utter litter to say the least. Mindless comedy and senseless direction lead to these records? No, it is the promotional activities and such mock statements made during the first week of its release that brought more than a billion to the producers.

The only good thing about Dookudu is Brahmanandam and the item number of Parvathi Melton. The rest tests our patience. And Mahesh Babu’s association with such a movie only shocked me.

Same goes with Magadheera which was released 2 years ago. Hype was created about its lavish sets, Ram Charan learning sword fighting, and about the mind boggling budget. But critically speaking Magadheera no way matches the charm of Arundhati which belongs to similar genre. Though Rajamouli is a wonderful director, Magadheera is not the movie which talks about his caliber.

criticleo_magadheeraActually hit movies, which were one of its kind in Telugu Cinema were Pokiri and Arundhati in the recent past. And many people didn’t even know their exact release date leave about promotional strategies. They also were the films released in this era of marketing, but their marketing activities were minimal when compared to others. But, they were hugest hits of Telugu Cinema because they have strong content and amazing direction.

When we believe in our work, we need to promote it to an extent that people get aware of its existence and get a flavor of it through trailers. That will inevitably draw audiences to the cinema, provided your work is as wonderful.

Making a billion or more is no more a big deal in Telugu Cinema, given the number of theaters a film is being allocated and also the sky high prices of tickets and distribution rights. And as one of the movie reviewer recently said, ‘This is awesome’. Utter this 99 times, you begin to believe it the 100th time. When you blab at every other reality show and press meet saying how your movie provides out of the box entertainment, a significant percent of the viewers may actually believe in you. Many such incidents are taking place in Telugu Cinema before and after the release of a movie, only to draw audiences.

The recent hit Sri Rama Rajyam also had zero pre-release promotion and look how the movie is being accepted and admired by audience across. Content speaks here, not PR activities.

I hope the industry realizes this soon and modifies its approach towards promotional activities.

Find Harsha on Twitter and Facebook


  1. Content is the king. We can watch people promoting movies on reality shows but when it comes to making people go to theater and buy tickets that’s a different ball game. People are not fool. They know if movie flops, some channel will show it within a month or two..Bollywood atleast should trust the audience with some IQ.

  2. Dear,
    Just wanted to inform you that I am unable to comment on your latest article on (Rockstar). The comment section is disabled.

    • Yeah, I know Kiran. I don’t know what went wrong. I’m trying to fix it…

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