Earlier this year, Shah Rukh Khan stamped his authority over Bollywood once again as his spy thriller Pathaan garnered multiple box office achievements. Despite the numerous calls for boycott of the movie and Bollywood in general, the SRK starrer went on to break Baahubali 2's record and became the highest-grossing Hindi film ever. The Bollywood star’s fans are hoping for something similar when his new movie Jawan releases on 7 September 2023.
The success of Pathaan also breathed some life into the Indian box office as it was struggling to get out of the pandemic-induced lull. To repeat the success, Jawan’s marketing team is going full steam ahead and it is headed by Shah Rukh Khan himself with his huge audience across social media platforms.
These marketing efforts are expected to have a big impact on Jawan’s opening week performance. Ashish Saksena, COO – Cinemas at BookMyShow, tells Outlook Business, “With Jawan's extensive reach encompassing diverse audience segments, including both multiplexes and widespread single-screen presence, the potential it holds knows no bounds.”
Social media’s role in movie marketing has increased drastically over the past few years. With increasing smartphone and high-speed internet penetration in India, successful digital marketing efforts cannot take place without significant social media engagement. According to data from Comscore MMX Multi-Platform, almost 96 per cent of India’s netizens are social media users.
Although social media audience or reach is often used as a benchmark in measuring success of digital marketing, a more accurate picture is presented by the ‘actions’ generated by social media posts. Such engagements include likes, shares and comments and even redirecting to ticket booking site from the link provided in the post. This is where Shah Rukh Khan is leading the way, generating way more audience engagement than anyone else when it comes to promotional posts on Jawan.
Of the top 10 promotional posts on social media that promote Jawan, eight are from SRK’s Instagram account. When one looks at the top 25 posts, 20 of them originate from Shah Rukh Khan’s Instagram account. The remaining five posts are from the social media accounts of Anirudh, the music composer of Jawan; Deepika Padukone, who plays a cameo in the movie; singer Shilpa Rao and internet influencer Faisal Shaikh.
The engagement generated from these posts have already helped with a great pre-booking for Jawan on online ticket sale platform BookMyShow. Saksena of BookMyShow says, “Jawan has generated unprecedented buzz ever since the release of its teaser and is off to a great start, with a mammoth 750,000 tickets already booked on BookMyShow, highlighting the escalating interest in the film. As screens open up for advance bookings in various cities, the Tamil and Telugu versions of the film are also garnering enthusiastic support, although the Hindi version is naturally taking the lead.”
Although posts on social media platform X, earlier known as Twitter, generally do not generate as many engagements as Instagram or Facebook, it is an important platform to create a pan-India digital trend.
Shah Rukh Khan generally does many interactive ‘ask me anything’ (AMA) posts on the platform in the run-up to the release of his movie. These sessions usually result in the actor answering queries posted by his fans for a short duration, and often end up trending hashtags around his upcoming movie. This time, SRK’s AMA sessions have ended up trending #Jawan on a national level. On the other hand, the calls for boycott of Jawan has also showed up on Twitter.
With so much excitement already generated around the movie, the industry is hopeful of another SRK blockbuster. As the movie hits the screen tomorrow, the result of SRK’s marketing push is just around the corner. Pathaan had earned Rs 106 crore worldwide on its first day. If the pre-booking data is anything to go by, Jawan’s first target will be to achieve a record opening day.