Friday, October 13, 2006

All Guns Blazing... I Hope

By next week, it will be 3 months in media. Sometimes I wonder why I am even counting... its not like I will quit this industry even if I dont make it in 5 years... but maybe I am in a hurry. But whatever it is... its good to reflect a bit now and then...

So, here I was trying to get my agency into film marketing. The business model was to become the equivalent of an ad agency for Indian Films. So, we would be the people who would get a brief about the film from the producer (just like an ad agency would from a brand manager). From there onwards it would be unto us to promote the film through everything possible within the budget allocated to us. But this was utopia... as not even 1% of this actually happens. Film marketing works through a chaotically synergistic process involving jugaad, pehchaan, connections and dosti-yaari.

We realized that it would be unrealistic to expect to enter a film producer's office and say, "Hi. Can we market your film? We will handle everything including the 1 crore you plan to spend on media. We are good you know coz we are from Madison". The producer would obviously be like, "Huh? Whose son?"

So it had to be one step at a time... firstly to get into the comfort zone of the producer, and secondly to slowly build a portfolio of work on which to picth further and expand upon. So the area my boss identified was "Media Tieups" which was around the time I joined in. Media tie-ups would essentially be stuff like "MTV - Kabhi Alvida Na Keha Special" or "Dainik Bhaskar - Press Partner for Fanaa", etc. Frankly I liked the idea of rolling out an entirely new function, something that doesnt exist in India.

So, I started calling various channels from Star to Yahoo to Rajasthan Patrika to Nat Geo. They werent too enthusiastic coz, one, everyone hates agencies (saale commission khaakar guzara karte hain) and secondly, they saw no value that we could bring to the table. They were happy directly talking to producers, cutting a deal, and promoting the film. So obviously we thought, jab ghee seedhi ungli se nahin nilkle toh ungli tedhi karni chahiye... So we decided to get into an arrangement with the producer so that the media channels are compelled to speak to us. So here we were in Sajid Nadiadwala's office trying to convince him to let us do media tie-ups for his 35 crore film 'Jaanemann'. I had made a detailed plan which he didnt look at for more than 30 secs and said.. "yeh sab toh theek hai. You guys go ahead". I was elated about my first real project. So in full enthu I called MTV and NDTV, sent them the film's synopsis and asked them for their plans. I was feeling good and was planning a huge 360 plan across print, news, internet, telecom, viral, events and what not. And then a week later I realised that both MTV and NDTV had gone and met Sajid directly and finalised their deals. This was not happening!

Thankfully at that time, the Branded Entertainment (BE) Awards Summit came up and I immersed myself in 21 straight days of case writing and PPT making on projects that we had done on product integrations in various films (thats the other function here apart from Celebrity Management). The hours were killing, but it wasnt that tough completing fourteen case studies (each around 10 pages) and 11 PPTs given an MBA, a year and a half in consulting, and I guess a propensity to just 'gas around'. And we got 3 awards (all Golds) to show for it. Ofcourse most of the credit goes to the guys who actually executed the work, but it was nice to see my case studies and PPTs appreciated by hot shot judges and the audience alike. They even put my picture here:

(The MATES team, me 2nd from right! The other great person in the pic is obviously Sam Balsara in the centre ;)

(To be continued... Pakk gaya likhte likhte... am sure u r feeling the same way by now :)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Rajnikant ki Jai!

Add to Technorati Favorites