20 Jul' 15

Baahubali – How social media added to its box office success

Bahubali- The case study

When international leading dailies including The Guardian gives an Indian film, that too originally made in a regional language, four stars, there ought to be something spectacular about it. Well, we are talking about SS Rajamouli’s recently released magnum opus, Baahubali, touted as the most expensive film that the country has ever produced. That it has clocked in 300crores ($48 million) worldwide in barely nine days at the box office is old news. What’s more interesting, apart from the film itself, is that this Prabhas, Tamannah and Rana Daggubati starrer managed to achieve this feat without going overboard with aggressive marketing campaigns – yeah, no shoving down of paid-and-planted news down our throats, no nauseatingly incessant promotional tours by the cast on every other channel. What the makers did leverage, however, is the power of social media — not just around the release but also before it even went on floors. The result – Much like the meaning of its title – Baahubali – one with strong arms, the film created an organic hype, riding on its own shoulders. Here’s a glimpse of a few innovative ways through which Baahubali used social media to set the box office on fire:


To begin with, two years back, director Rajamouli announced online auditions for the film’s casting through a post on Facebook via YouTube cross-linking. Thanks to the popularity of the platform among all age groups, in just about two weeks, the makers were flooded with over 1200 emails. Well, now we know the secret behind that mammoth ensemble cast of the Baahubali that has a full-fledged 45-mins battle scene in it.

Baahubali Facebook campaign


Showing behind-the-scenes videos during the end-credits or perhaps releasing some footage a few months after a film has hit the theatres is common. Glipmses of Baahubali’s making, however, was captured and released as a full-fledged video on its YouTube channel in September last year — a first ever for an Indian film. The Making Of Baahubali – A Glimpse Into Our One Year Journey was therefore a hit much before the actual saga of revenge released. All thanks to the reach of this Google-owned video-sharing platform.


Bahubali promotional campaigns

The makers finally used the power of the hashtag before the launch of the film’s trailer, which in itself was a spectacle. Instead of hammering the idea for a year, as we often see with most Bollywood releases of late, Baahubali’s trailer was launched on June 1, just a little more than a month before the final release of the film on July 10. Posting minimalistic images alongside crisp hashtags #BaahubalionJuly10th, #Baahubali and #LiveTheEpic on Twitter the marketers finally got it trending on the microblogging site — generating optimum curiosity and building the desired anticipation in the minds of the audience for an ‘epic’ release.

Baahubali Release promotion


Nothing works better than moving images, and trust the film’s co-producer, Bollywood biggie Karan Johar of Dharma Productions to know it best. From posting Vine videos of the long queues before theatres for advance booking to tweeting about the rave reviews that the project is getting from the film frat as well as leading publications in and outside the country, no stone was left unturned.

Baahubali social media


Baahubali social media campaignThe plans worked well. On July 10, the film released to packed theatres across the country, and even abroad, raking in Rs 200 crore ($31million) in a matter of four days. It was just the beginning, and looks like, the digital marketing team wanted to make the most of it. As a welcome break from inane video games, they got the audience hooked on to fun quizzes on the film at interactive platforms such as StoryGag. Contests were also run on Facebook and Twitter, whereby winners were given exciting merchandise from the film, an ethereal melange of mythology meets fairy tale. These smart post-release tactics yet again worked wonders to keep the audience engaged to the multi-lingual dubbed versions even after they’ve watched it.

Given such smart marketing strategies through with Baahubali spread its wings on social media, and dared to walk off the beaten track, it certainly comes as no surprise that this was a campaign that many are henceforth going to take a leaf out of.

Want to know more about how social media can do wonders for your projects? Talk to us now!

Debasmita Ghosh

Content- Manager

Debasmita is the Manager- Content for brand Code{ur}idea. Her job is to make sure, no content goes out on the web without a nod from her and we're too scared of her to deny.

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