Marketing Ghajini: Bollywood's Biggest Blockbuster

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG213
Case Length : 25 Pages
Period : 2008-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Geetha Arts
Industry : Media and Entertainment
Area: Marketing Strategy | Promotion | Services Marketing | Public Relations
Countries : India

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"I think at a time when big opening weekends have become essential for the films' financial success, one needs to create an urgency in people to see the film in the first couple of weeks. Our marketing strategies are focused on creating this urgency."

- Madhu Mantena, Producer, Ghajini, in December 2008.

"Bollywood publicists are clearly putting a whole lot of thought into how to spread the word of mouth. We are seeing more and more meaningful promotional campaigns that not just spread the word about the films but also attempting to give the film a longer shelf-life and emotional connect with audiences."

- A Trade Observer, commenting on the promotional strategies of Ghajini, in December 2008.

"Historic Hit in 14 Minutes and 52 Seconds"

December 25, 2008, saw the release of the much-awaited film, 'Ghajini'. The film (a revenge drama) opened to packed houses and grossed a staggering Rs. 320 million in a single day worldwide. Its first week collections amounted to Rs. 1 billion in India. With this, Ghajini became the biggest grosser at the Indian box office in terms of returns in the first week. Trade observers opined that the film was the biggest Bollywood blockbuster of 2008 and had broken all records set by earlier films. Komal Nahta (Nahta), trade analyst and editor, Film Street Journal, said, "The movie has earned more than Gadar: Ek Prem Katha and is comparable to DDLJ.", Commenting on the success of the film, a spokesperson for Ghajini said, "Ghajini has had the biggest box office opening and collections this year. It is the first movie to cross more than 100 crores in a week.

The collections, as of 31st December, were Rs 140 crores and we are still counting. The poster reads 14 minutes and 52 seconds because Aamir loses his memory every 14 minutes and 52 seconds. The money Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi earned in 3 weeks, Ghajini took a week to earn.",

The success of the film was widely attributed to the aggressive promotional strategies adopted by the film makers in conjunction with the lead actor of the film, Aamir Khan (Aamir), one of the top actors in the Hindi film industry, who played a vital role in the promotion of the film. The film was produced by Allu Arvind (Arvind), a noted south Indian film producer and distributor, under the banner 'Geetha Arts'.

Established in 1974, Geetha Arts was one of the most reputed production houses in south India. In addition to Hindi films, the banner had delivered several hit films in south Indian languages such as Tamil, Kannada, and Telugu. Ghajini was earlier made in Tamil in 2005 and proved to be a raging hit. It was also dubbed in Telugu, and was again a hit. The success of the Telugu and Tamil versions of the film prompted Geetha Arts to go ahead and remake the film in Hindi.

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1] John Quelch, "How Better Marketing Elected Barack Obama,", November 5, 2008.
2] "Electoral Triumph Built on a Web Revolution,", November 9, 2008.
3] "Obama Launches Pre-Emptive Strike against Internet Smear Campaigns,", June 13, 2008.
4] "Transcript: 'This is Your Victory,' Says Obama,", November 4, 2008.


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