Dilani Rabindran



MAARI and PULI and VAALU and THALA, Oh My!, Maari, Puli


It has been a feast of sorts in the past week in Tamil cinema - not necessarily of film or album releases, but of teasers & trailers! Gone are the days where an extravagant advertising budget was absolutely needed to spread the word about a film and build excitement amongst audiences. In fact, it is almost as if number of hits, likes and dislikes has become as important as box office collection statistics. 


But it makes sense, to me. Nowadays, a well-cut trailer is almost all that's needed to ignite a world of diverse & free marketing - the twist being that fans themselves help with the advertising! Give us a trailer with a few decent 'hooks' and we will run wild with it - memes, slideshows, GIFs, t-shirts and more! Trailers of big hero films are inevitably going to receive much attention, but repeat views often depends on the right balance of visuals and recall factors in the commercial. Those who edit these highly anticipated snapshots of a 2-3 hour movie have 2-3 minutes to grab our attention, but if they grab it well, the value of online viral marketing is almost priceless. 


So have recently unveiled trailers & teasers made effective use of smart marketing gimmicks to help spurn even more free advertising? Let's break them down...


MAARI - The first full-length, and probably only, trailer for Maari is heavily reliant on Dhanush's mass dialogues. The film, which releases in 3 weeks time, is likely to contain much more in terms of action & romance, but the trailer reveals very little detail about the conflict, other than some gangster/tough cop head butting, and instead focuses almost entirely on catchy lines about Maari's ultimate coolness. It gives us a sense of many key characters, not just the hero & heroine alone, and is memorable! In fact, my marketing-gut tells me that this trailer was created with the idea of memes in mind - given that there are so many 'thara local' moments for fans to freeze and get creative with. The internet is already alight with plays on some classic Maari-one-liners, and t-shirts have already begun circulating! By the time July 17 rolls around I'm certain many fans will have key dialogues memorized to shout along with on-screen Dhanush.   


PULI - The first Puli teaser went the completely opposite route & focused solely on visuals and stunts in its 56 seconds of ad time - appropriately so for a film that will likely be promoted for Vijay & its CGI artwork. It is fast, slick and features scenes with instant recall & impact - such as Sridevi on an epic throne & just the frame of Hansika's face with piercing blue eyes. With Shruti & Hansika as two of the film's gorgeous leading ladies one might presume they would have been given greater focus in the teaser, but it was a smart move, in my opinion, to showcase Sridevi for seconds longer given that one of the film's key selling points is her much-hyped comeback. Puli's teaser is wholly entertaining and I am thoroughly enjoying the many "Bow down to Sridevi" screenshots online.


VAALU - How do you re-capture an audience's attention with a trailer that comes out almost one full year after the first one did? You tap into the fans of other heroes as well! At long last, Simbu's Vaalu will be releasing, battling Maari at the box office on July 17, and in a brilliant move on the Vaalu team's part to re-engage crowds after such a long ordeal for the film the new trailer pivots on some Thala focused lines by Simbu's character. Dedicated Simbu fans would have paid attention no matter what, but the mention of Ajith's name in the trailer has spun off numerous fan-generated posters and is drawing in a large chunk of the likes & shares of the trailer. The first trailer raked in 2.8 million views over 11 months but in just 3 days this new one has garnered almost 30% of that number! The combination of Ajith's dedicated online following & interest in Simbu's return to the silver screen after years has worked very well for Vaalu's advertising efforts before its release.


It just goes to show the creativity that marketers must invest even with something as short as trailers! But I'm sure you readers have noticed these tactics already.... "Ethana [trailers] paathrupom, idhu kooda theriyaadha?"


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Tags : Maari, Puli, Vaalu


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