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February 27, 2014 Social Media
Feature image - Jai Ho

When Twitter Yelled “Jai Ho!”

(No A. R. Rahman reference intended here)

@Aamir_Khan:9 days to go… waiting to watch your film Salman! Release se pehle dikhade mere bhai… JAI HO!!

This is how Aamir Khan did his bit to promote Jai Ho, considering the fact that Salman Khan had promoted ‘Dhoom 3’ on the show ‘Big Boss’ that he hosted earlier. He regularly tweeted about ‘Jai Ho’ almost everyday for 15 days.

Salman Khan has never really believed in movie promotions. Rightly so, a star of Salman’s stature doesn’t really need them.

A random thought here: If ‘Bollywood’ was Twitter, and Salman Khan was a ‘hashtag’, its fair to say that #SalmanKhan has been trending at the Number#1 position for the past 4 years (or even longer, maybe).

But even mega-stars need some kind of movie promotion, to score a mega-hit. Offline movie promotions are too clichéd now, so it was a good decision by Salman’s media team to recognise the potential of ‘Twitter’ to promote his films.

After being away from the silver screen for almost 2 years, Salman Khan finally made his big comeback with ‘Jai Ho’. For hardcore ‘Salmaniacs’ or ‘Bhai fans’, this was a treat…in fact, it was a grand ‘daawat’!

Hashtags such as ‘#WaitingForFirstLookOfJaiHo’ to ‘#JaiHoStormingIn7Days’ started trending almost a month before the film’s release, and continued to do so regularly, even a week after the film’s release.

 

When Some News Channel Got A Little Too Creative

On 24th January, 11:21 am – Opening Weekend of Jai Ho, a famous verified news channel tweeted: “Ready for #Jai Ho? Our guest humorist @BollywoodNandu* is live tweeting. Don’t miss his hilarious tweets.

*(name changed, to avoid possibility of costly lawsuits)

 When Creativity Went Wrong

This very tweet invited a lot of negative responses from Salman fans and movie buffs. It was a working Friday, so most people would only get to watch ‘Jai Ho’ that Saturday or Sunday; and the news channel, along with @BollywoodNandu* was about to spoil it all for them, with a string of tweets.

When the ‘Twitterattis’ responded’

Here’s a few of the many Tweets in response –

  • From “I am blocking you for the day” to “New standard of How Low One Can Go
  • From “I hope #JaiHo sues @VerifiedNewsChannel*” to “Dude, what is wrong with @VerifiedNewsChannel*
  • Some of them were a little more practical like: “Irrespective of whether you approve of the actor/ film, live tweeting a film on its opening day is disgusting” (I agree!)
  • One of the prominent lyricists in Bollywood tweeted: “But why? Real ghatiya strategy by @VerifiedNewsChannel* No movie should be live-tweeted on the opening weekend

*(Again, name changed to avoid expensive lawsuits)

So I’m Sharing My Views here, Too (I Just Have To, Right?)

Jai Ho’ is not the first movie to face the brunt of ‘Live-Tweeting’; many past films have, as well. Plus, ‘Full-on Masala’ flicks are easy targets to live-tweeting-humour. Each dialogue and every scene has priceless bits to take pot-shots at. Many people enjoy this kind of humour, too. But let’s not forget that, it was the opening day, the very first show this time.

The essence of a film lies in its story; and when you live-tweet, you are just looking for things to make fun of. The intention changes from enjoying the film to churning jokes out of it. When live- tweeting, we are only seeing a part of the film, or only some part of a particular scene. We have no clue about the significance of the scene or dialogue. We see it, we think and tweet a silly joke about it, that gets 5 or 6 Re-tweets and 7 Favourites. But indeed, it spoils the rest of the film for a thousand, maybe million other people. And to do that on the opening day of the film, is simply unfair on the film-makers, the cast and crew, and especially the fans.

 

When ‘Jai Ho’ Got Going

Taking lessons from @BCCI ‘s “Thank You Sachin” campaign, which was a grand success on Twitter, “Happy New Year” and “Jai Ho” used a similar activity, which got a lot of impressions.

The fans had to tweet to @BeingSalmanKhan with a message for #JaiHo, and they got personalised ‘digigraphs’ with Salman’s digital signature on it. Plus, a reply from his personal account was like ‘Gold Dust’ to a true fan! The Twitter takeover worked, as Facebook and Twitter were filled with happy fans getting digigraphs.

 Now, To Sign Off

When it comes to the ‘Salman Khan’ genre of films, their success is measured on the days they take to make it to the illusive ‘100 Crore Club’. ‘Jai Ho’ was the slowest of the lot and he admitted that, too. But, in terms of online movie promotions, ‘Jai Ho’ took a big step; and that is something they should definitely be proud of.

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