Industry keenly eyes Gulabo Sitabo’s digital premiere

The film industry has faced possibly one of its biggest disruptions ever due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Never before has the film industry come to a grinding halt with all cinema halls closed, no shootings taking place, no new releases. Now, even as India emerges out of the over two-month long lockdown, cinema halls and multiplexes continue to remain shut.

Amid such a scenario, the film industry is looking at digital to create engagement and also release some new films. In recent times, we have seen the digital premiere of Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer ‘Ghoomketu’ on ZEE5 OTT platform. Now, there is much interest generated over the digital premiere of ‘Gulabo Sitabo’, starring Bollywood A-listers Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana, on Amazon Prime Video. The movie is set to premiere this Friday, June 12, 2020.

‘Gulabo Sitabo’s digital release is being observed with much interest as quite a few movies are lined up for release on OTT platforms, including Akshay Kumar-starrer ‘Laxmmi Bomb’, Vidya Balan-starrer ‘Shakuntala Devi’, and Jahnvi Kapoor-starrer ‘Gunjan Saxena’, among others.

On the other hand, big ticket movies such as Ranveer-Deepika starrer ‘83’, Kangana Ranaut’s ‘Thalaivi’, Salman Khan’s ‘Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai’, Aamir Khan’s ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’ are preferring to play the waiting game and have opted for theatre releases when cinema halls will reopen.

Film marketing in COVID-19 times

With traditional avenues of film marketing unavailable currently, such as OOH and print media, the makers of ‘Gulabo Sitabo’ – Rising Sun Films production, producers Ronnie Lahiri and Sheel Kumar, and director Shoojit Sircar – have taken to TV and digital for the film’s promotion.

The film’s two lead actors – Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana – have been creating engagement for the film on social media. In fact, Big B has been involving several big names in Bollywood for a tongue twister challenge as a lead-up to the film’s release.

Promotions have taken a heavy digital route, beginning with a poster featuring the two main characters in quirky look. The poster was featured on the social media pages of Amazon Prime Video India, Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana.

The trailer launch, too, was built up on social media. Sticking to the quirky flavour of the movie and the one-upmanship plot, both the actors along with Shoojit Sircar featured in a video where they appear to be discussing the launch of the trailer via video call. The banter and quirkiness of this video itself captures the essence of the movie and especially the relationship of the characters Amitabh Bachchan (Sitabo) and Ayushmann Khurrana (Gulabo) are portraying.

After a countdown to the trailer launch, the trailer was finally revealed in late May 2020.

The movie was also promoted via behind the screen pictures of the actors and memes.

Two songs from the film – ‘Madari Ka Bandar’ and ‘Jootam Phenk’ – were launched on YouTube by Zee Music Company and promoted by the actors on their social media accounts.

This was also followed by CTA post for the audience, where they were asked to put up a cover of ‘Madri Ka Bandar’ with #GiboSiboOnPrime and tag Amazon Prime to be featured on Instagram Stories.

Amazon Prime Video India had also put up a video of Making the look for Amitabh Bachchan’s character Mirza. This video was put up 5 days ago and has already crossed 3 lakh views on YouTube.


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