The Indian Hindi film industry, popularly known as Bollywood, is full of glamour and pomp. At the same time, the industry is also known for the various challenges it faces. Practices like shelving of films, movies not getting adequate screen space are not unheard of in Bollywood. One of such major challenges that are faced by the industry in the present times is with regard to the promotion of any film. While the production and completion of a project is always crucial, what’s equally challenging is the promotion of a flick.
From newcomers like Ananya Pandey to established stars like Salman Khan, they leave no stone unturned when it comes to promotion of their films. Just before any film hits the silver screen, the who’s who of the tinsel town can be seen featuring on popular television shows like The Kapil Sharma Show, visiting studios of FM stations, interacting with fans and even travelling to different cities in their bid to reach out to more and more people. However, these can now be termed as conventional methods of film promotions. In the recent past, Bollywood has turned to innovative methods of film promotions, in a manner that they become more interactive in nature. One of such platforms that have come handy to the filmmakers and stars is the popular short video sharing app, Likee, formerly known as Like.
The popular app has emerged as a very effective tool for film promotions. And the fact that big banners like Salman Khan Films, T Series and Fox Star Hindi have associated themselves with Likee depicts the effectiveness of the tool in the promotion of films. The attribute of the app that it caters to the aspiration of the common man to appear on the same platform as the stars is probably the prime reason for such success of Likee.
Apart from major metros like Delhi and Mumbai, the app has particularly been popular in tier II and tier III cities. It is widely believed that a film that performs well in states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh always rake moolah at the Box Office. And the popularity of the app in such regions explains why the tinsel town is joining hands with the platform. Some recent examples of Likee being an effective tool for film promotion are big productions like Akshay Kumar-starrer Housefull 4, Salman Khan’s Dabangg 3 and Chhichhore, featuring Sushant Singh Rajput and Shraddha Kapoor.
Bollywood bigwigs made optimum utilisation of the platform in 2019 as they reached out to the fans through unique challenges, which garnered more than 300 million views each. Likee’s collaboration with Dabangg3 as the digital partner for the campaign #HudHudDabangg raked over 350 million views whereas #TheBalaChallenge for Housefull4 garnered more than 678 million views.
Another attribute of the app that adds to its popularity is the fact that it offers more than 15 Indian languages, including Hindi, Marathi, Telugu and Tamil, which have popular film industries of their own.
With its latest associations and around 170% year-on-year growth, Likee is evidently leaving its competitors far behind in the race for film promotion. Likee is already among the top 10 most downloaded apps globally and also the number 1 breakout app, as per App Annie report. According to recent reports, India contributes to over 50% of Likee’s global installs.
Talking about the road ahead for Likee, Mr Mike Ong, the Vice President of BIGO Technology PTE Ltd, says, “It is said that people in India eat, sleep and drink movies. We aim to establish Likee as a bridge between the fans and the filmmakers. 2019 was a great year for us, as we joined hands with several big banners of Bollywood. We were also the digital partners for some major releases. But I would term it as just the beginning. We have a long road ahead to cover and are determined to make Likee the first choice for filmmakers when it comes to interacting with and reaching out to Bollywood buffs,”
And with Bollywood ruling the heart of the country, there can be no qualms in saying that Likee is a boon for the Indian film industry and its fans.