How Penguin India Is Creating Pre-Launch Buzz For Rajinikanth’s Biography

A review of the social media buzz creation 'Find Rajinikanth' for the first biography on Actor Rajinikanth slated for a launch on his birthday - 12.12.12, by Penguin Books India

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Here, we look at the online buzz creation for the first biography on Actor Rajinikanth slated for a launch on his birthday – 12.12.12.

Awarded as Entertainer of the Decade by NDTV in 2011, Tamil Superstar Rajinikanth embodies all that is heroic and impossible for ordinary mortals to achieve. Stunts defying gravity coupled with the Superstar’s charisma won him much acclaim, giving rise to a new genre of facts, popularly called ‘Rajnikanth Facts’. This 12th December, the Thalaivar celebrates his 62th birthday, which is also the day when the most anticipated film book of the year, “Rajinikanth: The Definitive Biography” by Naman Ramachandran is slated to be launched.

In keeping with the Rajinikanth flavour, the  publishers ‘Penguin Books India’ have created an interesting social media campaign using Facebook and Twitter, along with  other forms of planned promotions, including retail tie-ups in the later phases. The publishing brand has created a dedicated Facebook page called ‘Find Rajinikanth’ but what is even more interesting is the Facebook game of the same name ‘Find Rajinikanth’. The Facebook game will test the biggest fans of the Thalaivar and help everyone discover fun and engaging facts about Rajinikanth — which the forthcoming biography is full of.

The ‘Find Rajinikanth’ game

The game that is hosted on a Facebook app, operates on the premise that the evil Joker Ravanan has kidnapped the Superstar, and only Rajinikanth’s legion of fans can save him!

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Find Rajinikanth Facebook game

To play, you have to answer a series of quick fire questions about Rajinikanth’s life and career that get increasingly difficult. Only the diehard fan who can answer every question correctly qualifies to have a shot at saving the Superstar. You can get started once you click on ‘Play my game’. The timer begins a countdown from 10 while you take a shot at multiple choice questions.

The game will throw you out the moment you give a wrong answer as you are not a diehard Rajini fan. But, do not despair as you can give it as many shots as you want by starting all over again. After all, you are a diehard Rajinikanth fan!

There is an option to ‘Invite Friends’ once you finish the game or are thrown out, but I think there is an error in that. The ‘Invite Friends’ option pops up a window for sharing the game on your wall, instead of providing you the ‘Invite friends from Facebook’ feature.

Buzz on Facebook and Twitter

The first thing that struck me was that the Facebook page  was categorised under ‘Public Figure’! The brand new page started this December has close to 2500 fans with 460 as the number of people talking about it. The Facebook page insights revealed Chennai to be the most popular city and 18-24 years being the most popular age group, in the community.

Content shared is exclusive to Rajinikanth fans with cool graphics depicting facts about the Superstar, all the while encouraging or challenging Rajinikanth’s fans to save him from the evil Ravanan.

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The book has also created a fresh Twitter account this December called ‘@FindRajini‘. The Twitter account has managed to garner a modest  number of followers within a few days. Content shared is largely about #RajiniCan humour containing the distinctive Rajinikanth flavoured jokes, facts and anecdotes, along with asking users to play the game.

Is this the beginning of exciting book launches?

Well, from the looks of it, I believe we have stepped on a new era of exciting book launches. Penguin Books India had recently created a wonderful digital campaign to create buzz for Author Shobha De’s latest novel ‘Sethji’. The strategy involved weaving intriguing stories around ‘Who is Sethji’ with the help of social media platforms like blogs, YouTube and Facebook. Although it is strategically different from ‘Find Rajinikanth’, the common thread that joins both campaigns is the alignment with the book genre and user involvement. 

Also, ‘Find Rajinikanth’ has an interesting launch date. This is perhaps the first time in the publishing industry that a biography will be launched on the subject’s birthday, especially one who has built an almost God-like status and following. The other thing that deserves a mention in the campaign is the graphic illustration of Rajnikanth Facts. The Facebook game is also a cool addition helping the campaign go a long way in creating awareness and memorable experiences for the community.

Another interesting book launch by Penguin books, what do you think?