Not all promotions yield success even when tossed with a generous amount of money. Bollywood needs to learn. Moreover the madness to be present on every new social network with the sheer ideology that youth will go crazy is a futile thought.
The recent Bollywood tie-up for the latest rom com flick Happy Ending with Tinder – a dating app that uses GPS technology to match users within a specific radius – is a perfect example. But then some believe it is an out of the box idea, well it isn’t!
What’s the promotion about
According to a press release shared by its digital agency, The Glitch: Pegged as a ‘Rom-Com about Rom-Coms’, Happy Ending is a story about two writers Yudi (played by actor Saif Ali Khan) & Aanchal (played by Ileana D’Cruz) who are both commitment-phobes, and their journey towards a happy ending. Along with other known digital mediums and traditional ones the movie explored popular dating app Tinder because the marketing folks thought that the dating app is used by commitment phobic youngsters.
Three days prior to the movie release, an announcement was made on social media that Yudi and Aanchal would join Tinder. Post this according to the release, “Lot of people ‘matched’ their profiles on Tinder and started having a conversation with the characters. The activity quickly picked up and in less than an hour both their Tinder profiles had over 100 matches.”
Guess who are on Tinder guys, our very own Yudi & Aanchal! So what are you waiting for? Right swipe them right away! pic.twitter.com/5YiPR4xgja
— Happy Ending (@HEtheFilm) November 18, 2014
Further it said: “On Twitter many users started tweeting their fun conversations with Yudi & Aanchal where the characters asked them to meet them on 21st November hence popularizing the release date of the movie.”
According to the Marketing Team of Eros International, a small research carried out among themselves helped them understand that Tinder is full of commitment-phobic people, which is what the characters of Happy Ending Yudi (played by actor Saif Ali Khan) & Aanchal (played by Ileana D’Cruz) are in the flick.
Tinder conversations of the leads with a fan:
The above conversations are just a reminder of the movie date and nothing else.
Old idea packed in a new network
Jumping onto a new social network/app isn’t a new trend. We saw this earlier with messaging apps such as WeChat and Line.
Earlier in 2013, Bollywood movie ‘Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola (MBM)’ tied up with WeChat, fans had to reply to questions asked about the movie on Facebook. The trick was that one needed to send their replies on WeChat, in other words new users of WeChat had to download the app. The gratification was a chance to meet the lead stars. Worth the effort if you like the leads of the movie, isn’t it?
A similar marketing stunt was pulled off for the Bollywood movie Ragini while promoting the Radar feature of WeChat. Singham Returns and Ek Villain also did the same for promoting the movie on the messaging app. Ek Villain star cast used the WeChat Official Accounts feature where it asked fans to chat with them. In reply fans received automated replies which did nothing but only promoted the movie.
The multi-starrer Sajid Khan comedy film Humshakals did a similar promotion with messaging app Line. For the promotions Humshakals and Line released a co-branded TVC. Line also created an official account similar to what WeChat has been doing along with creating Stickers.
The marketing team and agency folks of Happy Ending can pat their backs for being the first to try out Tinder, as it matched with the theme of the movie. But the promotions on the app lacked any human connection; it was a blatant movie promotion where every conversation ended with a reminder of the movie date. It happens when a brand wants to be present on every other social network and expects every one should be communicating with its boring promotional messages.
Tinder branded associations in the West
Any one who is using Tinder is on the app to find a date and not to chat with bots of Yudi and Aanchal. You would be really naive to believe that Saif/Ileana are on Tinder to reply to your chats. (Wonder how Saif is 35 years old as stated by his Tinder profile!)
Available in 24 languages and rumored to have 10 million daily active users, Tinder has done some marketing efforts in the west. Last year Tinder tied up with USA Network for season 3 premiere of scripted drama “Suits.” The initiative provided users exclusive content from the show with sneak peeks, audio greetings and video clips available only to Tinder users.
Earlier this year it was reported that actress and comedian Mindy Kaling, or more specifically, Mindy Lahiri, the main character on Kaling’s Fox sitcom, The Mindy Project was on Tinder to promote the show. It is expected that the show will feature a Tinder-theme episode. There are some more brand alliances with Tinder out here.
Exclusivity of content stands out in most of the successful Tinder campaigns. Like all other networks, exclusive content for users for that specific network will be a deciding factor for its success or failure. While Tinder is yet to become the go-to place for Indian youth when it comes to finding a date, vanilla marketing initiatives from movies like Happy Ending will keep users either away from such platforms or they might just swipe away to find meaningful dates.