MUMBAI: Social media buzz is proving a vital element in driving audiences to new Bollywood releases, according to a new study which indicates a much reduced role for traditional media.

For its ‘Media Effectiveness in Hindi Film Marketing’ report, Ormax Media, in association with Facebook, surveyed 25,000 moviegoers across several cities, demographics and strata over a six-month period, assessing the impact of different media in driving awareness and ticket sales for a range of movie genres.

This found that a combination of Facebook and Instagram generated the highest levels of “buzz power” in the week of release, Exchange4Media reported.

Averaged across the six films considered, these two platforms in tandem scored 69%; individually, Facebook came in at 67% and Instagram at 15%.

Next came YouTube on 53%, followed by television on 43%. In-theatre communications scored 22%, print 13%, OOH 9% and Twitter 4%.

Not only are certain social media platforms generating buzz around the latest films, they are also delivering business results: the study claimed that Facebook and YouTube together contributed to nearly 40% of the first day box office collection, while television and in-theatre contribute to only 13% and 9% respectively.

Social media such as Facebook allows fans to connect directly with the stars themselves, so driving more reach and engagement, and savvy marketers are building a community around a film long before its release.

“The marketing window is 45-60 days right now,” a Facebook spokesman said. “In some cases, films create milestones much in advance.

“Movie makers have realised that if they build a community in advance, when the time comes, they can launch it in the community.”

In the UK, the Twentieth Century Fox studio has driven “attentive reach” by incorporating elements of storytelling into its online promotional activity for a new release. (For more, read WARC’s report: How Twentieth Century Fox drives attentive reach.)

Understanding when consumers had viewed or skipped a ‘seed’ ad allowed the studio to serve up alternatives the second time around, adding to the original or offering a different angle. People who viewed these were targeted in the week of release with a reminder, including a call to action.

Sourced from Exchange4Media; additional content by WARC staff