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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rajnikant and art of brand management



Caparisoned elephants carrying the movie print to the theater, paal abhishekham to the hero, tickets sold at a wopping cost of Rs.1500 , houseful screening of movie at 4am, that basically sums up the frenzy in our country around the Super star Rajnikant's new movie Sivaji, which was released yesterday.

No, I have not see the movie yet nor is this post a movie review. I had seen Rajnikant's Chandramuki at a theater in Madurai and one thing that has remained the same then and now is the huge fan following that Rajnikant and his movies have. I can never forget that electric atmosphere inside the theater when I had gone to watch Chandramuki, the aarthi's, the whistles, the confettis all added to the on screen magic woven by the superstar, making it a un-forgettable experience. So looking at all this one tends to wonder;

1) How is that Rajnikant is able to churn suck blockbusters with such amazing consistency

2) The audience for his movies range from auto drivers, government employees to Software engineers, executives and top movie stars, so what is it that makes it possible for Rajnikant to not only satisfy the tastes of such a wide range of audience but also thrall them enough so that they come back for more again and again.

3) Movie Baba was considered a flop in spite of cashing in more than 30 crores at the box office, but the next two movies were super hit. What is it that Rajnikant and team do to stage such a come back after a flop movie.

Recently the bad boys from Boston, Aerosmith, visited Bangalore. If you read their history on wiki you will see that..

1) In spite of starting in late 1960, even today they consistently produce Gold/Platinum records and even today all their shows boast of sell out crowds.

2) They have this amazing ability to connect to "new generation" with their music(I don't want to miss a thing and Jaded won the Teen choice award).

3) Aerosmith made a awesome comeback after they broke up in late 1970's

If you look closely these characteristics, ability to consistently produce quality content in their respective fields, adapt to changing tastes/culture or bounce back from failures are strikingly similar in both cases. But then it should not come as a surprise after all both are super stars in their own way and both have mastered the art of Brand management.

Sivaji is a ideal case study for Kannada film industry, which had a successful movie against its name after a really long time in Mungaru Male. This movie in spite of having a decent story, brilliant cinematography, amazing songs and decent performance by Ganesh and Sanjana was not able to create even 1/10th the "noise", Sivaji has created. We for sure have lots to learn from our neighbors.

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