Most successful marketing campaigns in Bollywood

We often hear about the importance of marketing in movies today. The budget allocated for marketing has escalated over the years and now it is almost equal to the cost of making the film. Questions keep arising as to what exactly is marketing and how much of a difference does good marketing actually make to the fate of a film.Over the years there have been few marketing ideas that have created a buzz and actually benefited a film.

Here are a few outstanding marketing examples that have been creative and true to the essence of a film.

Aamir Khan Marketing Campaign

Aamir Khan Marketing Campaign

Ghajini: If there was an award for the most innovative marketing campaign, it would certainly be awarded to Ghajini which changed the dynamics of In-Cinema advertising. In-Cinema advertising was always limited to In-Cinema Slides and Television Commercials. However what Ghajini did was the unthinkable. They tied up with leading multiplexes in Mumbai wherein the staff was seen sporting the famous Ghajini hairstyle. This promotion was done when the audience went to watch Shahrukh Khan’s ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’, which released in theatres on 11th December 2008 whereas Ghajini was releasing about a month and a half later on 24th December. The crowd loved this unique promotion and this became a talking point for quite some time.

Don 2: Don is one film which is famous for it’s one liners like “Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin namumkin hai”. The makers of Don 2 focussed on these one liners and made an entire series on the same called ‘Don Says’. Special videos were shot with Shahrukh Khan narrating these dialogues and they instantly found recognition among the audiences.

Some of these famous dialogues of ‘Don Says’ are
– Don ke dushman ko hamesha yeh baat yaad rakhni chahiye…ke Don kabhi kuch nahi bhulta.
– Takat ek nasha hai, aur main uss nasha banane wali factory ka ek lauta malik hoon.
– Mujhe logon ka khoon karne ka koi shauq nahi…wohi mujhe majbur kar dete hai.
– Bathroom branding in famous theatres
– Don kabhi koi sabot nahin chodta – Please Flush
– Jo apni maa ki izzat nahi karta uska baap banke aata hun

Aamir Khan 3 Idiots Marketing Campaign

Aamir Khan 3 Idiots Marketing Campaign

3 Idiots: Trust Aamir Khan to be completely different when it comes to Marketing. True to his character in the film, he actually went missing pre release . A prize was announced for whoever located him and he involved his friend and cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, who happily agreed to be a part of the promotinal campaign. The media went into a frenzy and we saw Aamir in different looks all over the country.


The Dirty Picture - Vidya Balan with Sakshi

The Dirty Picture – Vidya Balan with Sakshi

The Dirty Picture: The makers of ‘The Dirty Picture” lived up to the famous dialogue of ‘Entertainment, Entertainment and Entertainment’ even for their promotions wherein they highlighted Vidya Balan and her Red Saree (already made famous in the promos of Dirty Picture) at every promotional event possible. We could see Vidya Balan sport her red saree in TV programs like “Bade Acche Lagtey Ho” and every possible City promotion. Even certain selected newspaper ads showcased a continuation Red Saree creative to highlight her Sexy and distinct look. A huge buzz was created for the film which ultimately got them a huge opening.

Aashiqui 2 Marketing

Aashiqui 2 in Cinemax

Aashiqui 2: One of the biggest hits of 2013 is remembered for two things – Great Music and a couple romancing under the shelter of a jacket. This is what motivated the makers to go ahead with one of the most unique ‘In Cinema- Seat advertising’. A mannequin resembling the Aashiqui 2 couple was placed on a seat in select theatres in Mumbai . The couple were in the Aashiqui 2 pose with branding done on the jackets about the release date of the film. This activity was carried on in screens where ‘Ek thi Daayan’ was showcased since Aashiqui 2 was releasing a week later.

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara Road Trip

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara Road Trip

Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara: The actors of the film ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ truly lived up to the concept of their film. Actors Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhar, Abhay Deol, Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin decided to go on an adventure trip in Mumbai and Delhi as part of their promotions. The road trip started from Mumbai- Bandra, and they drove through various cities stopping at different spots. The actors did the driving bit themselves for most part of the trip to get a raw feeling and the media travelled with them. The first of its kind, this was one rocking trip.

Which according to you is the best marketing campaign in Bollywood? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Article by Azeem, a marketing enthusiast. You can follow him on Twitter (@azeem2112)



  • I loved the 3 Idiots marketing strategy. The whol experience of Aamir Khan visiting differnt cities in various disguises. It was very interesting to watch.

  • This year Dhooom 3 will be most widely marketed film ever. Biggest production house in Bollywood, combines with the marketing genius of AAMIR KHAN

  • Haha. Ghajini was super. At that time SRK was known for being an excellent marketing mind. But Aamir cleverly used Rab Ne to promote Ghajini and took the limelight away from SRK.

    The first picture in the article says it all. Brilliance :D

  • Why isnt Ra One included in the list? They spent more than 50 crore on the marketing, which helped the movie. Otherwise I dont think it would have collected more than 100 crore.

    So even if it wasnt the most successful it helped the film get hit status.

  • Without a single doubt, RA ONE is best marketed film til date
    Whatever be the result, hit or flop. Yes it was best marketed product.

  • “3 idiots” promotions was the best like the movie itself. Aamir khan travelled all over the country in different disguises. Hope he does the same before the release of “Dhoom 3” and this time he can also use his Rocket speed stylish “BMW” bike and create Dhoom all over the country.

  • Not only in “Ghajini” but Aamir khan’s different hairstyle was famous during the time of other movie release also like hairstyle in “Dil chahta hai”,”Mangal Pandey”,”Fanna”,”Rang de basanti”,”Taare Zameen par” etc.

  • So aamir always takes the light from others inside or outside the movies, first srk then sachin, cool but mean 2,

    in 3 idiots there were 4 heros but they show it as only Aamir movie, in Ghajni the Asian was the lead factor and another time they show the movie as it is only aamir movie. I love his acting but i hate his love of taking all the credit away from others

  • Aamir is Aamir he is the best in business, best movies in his kitty, best directional debut, most profitable production house driven by an actor, and marketing Monster so no need for guess its definately aamir who deserves everything…

  • Ra One and Om Shanti Om were two of the best marketed films till date. All Shahrukh Khan films produced under his banner are well marketed.

  • without any doubt, KRRISH 3 would be the most marketed film of this year, the recent milestone achieved by it, is that K3 trailer went viral all over internet and is now THE MOST VIEWED trailer of all time in just a week !!! K3 is the biggest film of this year in terms of production,scale and release !!!

  • @ Indicine: Salman has given blockbusters without any major marketing campaign. What will happen if he use such campaign.

  • When the film become hit then marketing ideas will autamatically become genuine , incase gajini or 3 idiots been a flop then marketing ideas would have termed as flop. Gajini was a hit bcuz it had huge buzz so is 3 idiots. I think films opening is decided with trailer. Audience shud find something appealing in trailer and I think that decides films opening . Marketing will make a difference but not much I guess. For eg: rowdy rathode and khiladi 786 were masala films but the diference is appealing trailer in favour of rowdy rathode helped film to get good’opening. If marketing make a difference then aamir would have make a difference to talaash but he couldn’t bcuz he knw trailer did nt clicked with audience. Another eg: recent film road side romeo staring niel nitin mukesh and amisha patel have been marketed well but film coulnt fetch even 1 crore opening!

  • I loved ZNMD campaign where the interaction plays an imp role for movies success

    I hope they have something unique for Krrish 3 also

    And also Ghajini, 3I, Ra one are the best marketing films ever.

  • Ghajini had the most successful marketing campaign ever. This year, Karan Johar promoted YJHD well. Ranbir and Deepika’s break up or patch up whatever it was, also worked very well for the film.

  • Gewone… U stole ma wordzz…
    Even one of ma reasons foh hating aamir izz he alwaezz takes credit of oders
    Btw best marketed movie n now chennai xpress(though ghajini n 3 idiots too wer well marketed)

  • @Nilesh ya, salman needs good PR and a good PR team for his movies and may be a good adviser for him. because he is gonna ruin himself by working with idiotic directors. imagine what he can do with a director like raju hirani , imthiaz ali , AR Murugadoss or shankar.

  • @aks couldnt agree more.

    @nilesh True but then again bhai roxXxXx and the masses lap it up- srk needs promotion just to tell the masses: ” my subjects Im still alive and not quite ready to go to the dog house just yet! i am your Youtube King but make me the BoxOffice King again, get ready get steady get po- my next film is out in 6 months ( speech) and you all must watch it otherwise its triple lagaan for all of you this coming year…!”

  • @indicine thanx alot 4 what you did , u know what i mean :D , always wondr why my words look litl bit different :D, keep it up ;)

    But sometimes u refuse to publish my comments maybe becuz it wil break their heads :D

  • Very good article in terms of making aware audience why they decide to spend that 300 for ticket
    most of the decision happens in unconscious way but are guided by above marketing antics.

    Congrats Azeem for the article, would love to see more such examples also on –
    Innovative In cinema publicitiy

  • Aamir’s movies are the best marketed.

    Simple example is the movie he produced, Peepli Live.

    Would anyone have thought that such a kind of movie will do well in theatres? Impossible.

    But, the way Aamir marketed it was so brilliant, that it collected 4 times its budget.

    The innovative ways he marketed Ghajini with haircuts, missing act of 3 idiots, the campaign of delhi belly and now just wait for D3 promotions.

    He markets the movie according to the content and target market, which is the right and the perfect way.

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