How to promote a movie release?


The top concern while you are reading this is that you want the world to sit up, take notice and watch your movie. Film making is not only writing, shooting, directing and producing. Promoting the film successfully, is equally important but can quite easily fall by the wayside if not done through the proper channels, and with the inherent financial risk involved and the target of maximization of revenue early in the release cycle, this process needs to be cleverly planned.

So how do you go about doing it?

THEATRES- are the mainstay during the promotion of a movie release as they reach the niche target of moviegoers directly through-


2)Film posters

3)Standees and 3D card board displays.

4)Slideshows-which have stills and trivia shown between movie show times.


Aamir khan used a very interesting idea to promote his movie ‘Dangal’. He invited several celebrities to a special screening of his movie in the theatres and let them spread the promotional word around.

The movie promotions have also spilled into malls and kids stores depending on the target audience.


TELEVISION AND RADIO-television is an audio-visual medium just like a film and can reach out to an extensive audience quickly. This is crucial as movies don’t stay in theatres for more than 4 to 6 weeks.

Ideas for promoting a movie release through television are-

1)Passive product placement– inserting posters or action figures during shows on the corner of the screen or mentioning the film in the dialogues.

2)Appearances in popular shows– Shah Rukh Khan shared the stage with co-host Salman Khan to promote his film ‘Raees’ on the reality show, Big Boss 9 amidst a lot of fun and interesting games & tasks.



4)Talk shows and interviews– the cast and crew of the film share their experiences and special moments during the making of the film that connects the audience well. E.g. The Kapil Sharma show.

5)Documentary– Airing of ‘Behind the scenes’, ‘The making’ and music launches in documentary style.

Every home has a radio and with internet stepping in, the access has widened through laptops and smart phones.

Promotional ideas for a radio are-

1)Popular RJs- by mentioning the movies/special release dates/ or playing the movie songs frequently on their shows.

2)Featuring on Radio Shows

3)Releasing special editions– Salman Khan released a radio song enhancing the significance of this medium for the promotion of his movie, ‘Tubelight’ and his fans haven’t exhaled since then.

DIGITAL MEDIA-this has become a very effective platform to market a movie since the past 5 years. It includes-

Social media-The makers of ‘Bahubali have used this platform as a best marketing tool with 35.42 lakh likes on Facebook, 1.48 lakh followers on Twitter and 1.38 lakh subscribers on YouTube. With regular postings of ‘Behind the scenes’, release of special dates, campaigns for casting calls, games, competitions and setting up of shopping sites for special movie merchandise, this channel has contributed significantly to the movie’s 1500 crore collection.

The official teaser of ‘Kabali’ saw 40,000 viewers in the first 5 minutes of its release on YouTube and 84 lakh viewers in 24 hours.

Salman khan promoted his movie ‘Dabangg’ by creating a temporary profile in the name of ‘Chulbul Panday’and he tweeted using that account regularly till the movie released.

Imtiaz Ali has recently posted a video of Shah Rukh Khan hanging like spider man during the making of ‘When Harry met Sejal’ which is going viral, keeping the viewers involved in the film making journey.


Website-creating a website or a mobile app formulates a home base to showcase all the information related to the film. Aamir Khan did it for his film ‘Ghajini’.

Other popular sites for promoting the movie release are IMDB, 4Od, Vimeo, IndieWire, Way Too Indie etc.

Google display tools- like Google AdWords and AdSense are the quickest way to reach potential viewers. Bidding on local cinema based terms like promoting the film in specific theatres e.g. PVR cinemas or genre based terms like ‘action movies’, ‘romantic movies’, works as a good option.

BookMyShow- is the real ‘Bahubali’ of promotional showbiz that has made 70 crores by just booking tickets. It also reserves them in advance for free from the comfort of home. The reason any movie maker will love BookMyShow for promotions is for the ‘full page’ it dedicates to the movie which has the trailer and every bit of information one would need like the synopsis, cast and crew etc.

EVENTS-another interesting idea to promote the release of a movie is to include it or let the actors participate in a mega event for great visibility and connectivity with the audience. E.g. a film festival or a fashion show or a social cause depending on the relatability. The best site to submit films for festivals is .

PRINT MEDIA-promotional ideas for a movie are

Paid advertisements- in newspapers, magazines,

Brand associations– pictures of celebrities using a certain brand.

As Seth Godin, the marketing genius says ‘’ that only a remarkable thing will be remarked upon,’’ for promoting a movie release, do something remarkable, ambitious and work with experts. Requiring huge sums of money is a myth. The only currency that works here are the right channels and the creativity.


Author- Alefiyah Kapasi


Disclaimer- all images are taken from for illustrative purposes only

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