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Bollywood has found its new fix: the marketing mix.

From lights and camera, the action seems to be shifting to segmenting, targeting, and positioning. With more than 800 films a year being produced in India every year, you have to shout to be heard. Especially if you want to be, as management guru Peter Drucker would put it, 'the fustest with the mostest'.

With product differentiation reaching all-time lows, 'inspired' filmmakers need to look at the other Ps of marketing -- pricing, place, and promotion -- to find themselves a USP.

Pricing and distribution are not as effective as promotion, which has forced producers and directors to think out of the box. And they have quite literally moved from the conventional idiot box to newer formats, from websites to mobile telephony.

Yes, savvy moviemakers have woken up to the inevitable retailing truth: out of sight is out of mind. So they aim to get you anywhere they can. They are pulling out all the stops from the conventional radio spots to modern SMS campaigns and 360 degree branding to make sure you sit up, notice, and buy in.

With entities like indiatimes.com, hungama.com, and Linentertainment entering the fray with dedicated film marketing and promotion divisions, the going's getting tougher.

It doesn't come cheap either. "Though the value of the promotions varies according to what each party brings to the table, even the simplest mobile-based campaign would commence in the range of Rs 1 million. But because you are reaching out to over a million people directly, such campaigns are well worth the cost," says Siddhartha Roy of hungama.com

rediff.com looks at some of the novel, even unusual, recent film promotional campaigns.

Reportage: Vivek Fernandes
Design: Uday Kuckian

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