Simply put, a market must be created. RRR worked in Hindi because bahubali The team has already laid the foundation. “The main challenge we faced was in Part One itself. How do we get the message across?” Part Two, by comparison, was an outing, says producer Shobu Yarlagadda, CEO and co-founder of Arka Mediaworks, which produced bahubali Movies. From creating a Facebook page up and running from day one of shooting, releasing behind-the-scenes videos on Facebook and YouTube even as filming progresses, using Google Trends and other social media analytics to monitor engagement, sending actors to colleges in Punjab and Kolkata to promote the film and boost viewership, Presenting at Delhi Comic Con, and connecting with Indian Railways to serve Baahubali tea cups on select routes between cities, they all went on to interact with North Indian audiences. “Maharashtra and Mumbai are all easier to hack. But when you go north to Punjab and the Indian heartland, it takes a little bit longer,” says Yarlagada, adding that at the peak, 20 people worked at home straight into marketing.
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When the efforts paid off, he showed other filmmakers what was possible. Says Vijay Kiragandur, co-founder of the Hombale Group that produced KGF Movies. It was a meeting with Rajamouli in Bengaluru two months before the launch of KGF1 that made the ball roll. They showed him an 8-10 minute clip of the movie reel on his iPad, and he asked them to go to All India. “People in Karnataka used to say we spend more on marketing than on production. KGF1. [His words] It gave us confidence to spend a lot. Otherwise, we would have done our best as well, but we wouldn’t have taken that much of a risk unless we heard it from the horse’s mouth,” says Kiragandur.
Unlike other films whose national success came on purpose, Allu Arjun Starr Pushpa: height was different. Once again, it was Rajamouli who encouraged the manufacturers to think about the Indian markets. But they had no time left for marketing, the film makers relied entirely on TV promotion, and Thadani’s distribution could carry the film. “We were clear that with our budgets, we would be able to get the money back in our core markets. Hindi ‘Hindi was just trial and error,’” says Mythri Movie Makers co-founder Y. Ravi Shankar. But the tale of Pushpa Raj, a passionate friend who stammers in his mouth with the Thaggede Le logo / Main Jhukega Nahi (I Won’t Bow down), and his rise among the red sandalwood mafia, captured the imaginations of the masses, spawning countless Instagram Reels and memes.” We were certainly surprised by the success outside of South India. We never thought it would be so huge because we didn’t give much time for upgrades,” says Shankar.