Kabali — What startups should learn from the movie


July, 2016


Kabali, if you’re recognizing this name you already know what I’m talking about. Breaking the collection record of Indian cinema in the last hundred years. Considered a god in South India, many critics even went on to encourage the plot of the movie. Even if was criticized in several plots it managed to become the highest opening day collection of any India film in US and Canada. Made around 14 crores INR.

So what do marketers have to learn from this? Here are some thoughts I had analyzing the massive breakthrough of Kabali.

Prelaunch matters, in fact, matter a lot

The one thing people said after watching the Rajni movie was this. The promotion team did their best. Pre-Launched and hyped with each and ever single promotion item. They did their best, which made the film all time first-day record.

Startups should adopt the same thing with their marketing team. Pre-Launch and promote before you release. It’s the best way to gain primary traction. Let people know this is coming, and blow the whistle all the way.

Influence is the key

If you do some research on Rajini the human being, you’ll find it more interesting than the movie. He has influenced the whole state or maybe the whole country. He’s a gentle human being with all kindness in the world. He’s humble and normal in his life. That’s more important for his fans than the movie and thread. Just because it featured Rajini as Kabali, people will watch the movie. Not one time, several times.

Likewise just because your product is good doesn’t mean you’ll get customers. It’s into you, they’re looking, your purpose, why you built it etc. That matters a lot. Being a transparent company is one big option for a startup, but doing that it’s one hell of a push.

Bring on an influencer

If you’ve watched Kabali, you can understand that movie is a director’s movie. Which is not usual by Rajini. The success of the director was getting Rajini on board for this movie. He was not a giant, though getting Rajini made this movie what it is.

Just like that, marketing based on influencers will make easier acquisitions. Pitch to influencers in your industry and convince them to pitch for you.

Be different

After all, the movie which had to face a lot of criticism didn’t give much. It’s not a full-time entertainer, but the guts of the director to change the usual style is what reflects. He changed decades of Rajini style and made a different movie. There are people appreciating this change.

Bring in the change you want to make. Be the change and experiment. The market is changing day by day. You’ll have to figure a new path to success, a unique one of your own.

PS: This post doesn’t reflect any of my views on Rajinikanth or Kabali the movie. Just some mere observations.

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