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The hardsellers: Bollywood actors who are masters of story selling

Film promotions are getting bigger than ever. We list five actors who have personally taken on the responsibility of selling their films and come up with innovative marketing strategies

The era of pitching the spirit of a film through a window of just 60 seconds or less seems to be drawing to a close. Although there are some actors who swear by tried-and-tested formulas to lure the audience to the theatres, others are coming up with novel strategies to promote (read: sell) their films at a personal level. The latest is Hrithik Roshan, who has pushed the envelope by initiating a ‘Bang Bang Dare’ on social media — throwing fun challenges at his industry colleagues. hitlist takes a look at a few stars who have taken film promotions to a whole new level…

Hrithik Roshan
Hrithik Roshan

In the run-up to Bang Bang’s release, the actor has been challenging his friends from the film industry by asking them to perform daring or fun activities. Since he was apparently not keen on the routine city tours and appearances on television reality shows, he came up with the dare-to-do game with fellow actors, asking them to post videos of themselves doing a particular task and adding a #bangbang to it. So far, Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh and Farhan Akhtar have successfully responded to his challenges.

Aamir Khan
Aamir Khan

Touted as a marketing genius, Aamir has always explored unique ways to promote his films. Before the release of 3Idiots, he was seen posting movie’s posters on auto rickshaws while for Ghajini, he gave a near-bald crew cut look to the staff members of a city multiplex. Later, for Dhoom 3, he decided to skip promoting his film on any TV show to keep the mystery around his role alive. However, he made it a point to wear a Fedora hat all the time. For his upcoming film P.K., his talking standee was placed in various multiplexes.

Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan

Trust SRK to come up with ways to recover the production costs of his films even before they release. For Ra.One, he collaborated with almost every brand he endorses and presented them in the film, besides launching online games and merchandise. Currently, for Farah Khan’s Happy New Year, he along with Farah and the entire star cast, including Deepika Padukone and Abhishek Bachchan, are on a world tour to spread word about the film. He also released the trailer on a mobile app and will soon be launching a reality show to hunt for talented dancers across the country. Farah will judge the show while the cast members will appear as judges.

Vidya Balan
Vidya Balan

The actress believes in connecting with her audience by meeting them in her various on-screen avatars. She kicked off this strategy with the promotions of Kahaani, where she played a pregnant woman, by sporting an artificial baby bump during her city tours. Again, for Ghanchakkar, she would dress up in bright clothes, chanelling her screen role of a typical Punjabi woman. Even for her last outing, Bobby Jasoos, she would turn up on reality shows in different disguises, in keeping with her character in the detective film.

Rani Mukerji
Rani Mukerji

Yash Raj Films is not exactly known for over-the-top promotions but for Mardaani, lead actress Rani Mukerji took charge. She honoured soldiers and police officers and went the extra mile to meet Gujarat chief minister, Anandibai Patel and woman cop, Meera Borwankar. Rani also held a special screening of her film for Maharashtra supremo, Prithwiraj Chauhan and got it a tax free status in the state. Apart from that, she inaugurated a special female beat marshal brigade for Mumbai Police.

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