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In the name of Khan

February 11, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Manish Sharma

Shah Rukh Khan, the self proclaimed Badshah of Bollywood, finally got what he wanted. His latest offering My Name is Khan (MNIK) has created a monstrous hype before its scheduled release date, February 12th, 2010.

No amount of marketing gimmick would have generated the round-the-clock buzz on newspapers, TV channels, blogosphere, twitteratis and not to forget the age-old word-of-mouth flurry. The stand-off with Shiv Sena, another publicity hungry political outfit that thrives on controversy and rabble rousing passion seems to have paid off nicely. So much so, the mammoth marketing budget — touted to be around Rs 25 crore — now appears to be unwarranted and has gone unnoticed by many. Such is the power of PR.

When news channels flashed the story of his detention and subsequent questioning at the US Airport on Independence Day last year, it was evident that King Khan (as he prefers to be addressed) was trying to plug in his movie. However, turning a one-off skirmish into a strategic masterstroke would have been difficult had the issue of eschewing Pakistani players not came into being.

The decision to keep Pakistani players off the auction block was a business decision and not a political one. Pakistani players did not play in the last season that was held in South Africa and no one created a hullabaloo then. But, SRK smelled an opportunity to stir up the debate and deliberately attracted the ire of Shiv Sena, it seems. Just a day after the joint press conference of the owners of various teams, who staunchly denied any political motive behind their decision to steer clear of the neighbours, SRK played his tacit move. With his deliberate remark terming the whole incident as ‘unfortunate’, he very cleverly set up the media for the long haul. Shiv Sena, smarting under the setback of Raj’s growing clout and its own diminishing aura, found the moment opportune to shoot back to limelight.

The incident proved that though Aamir Khan is a savvier marketer, Shah Rukh knows how to manipulate the media too well.

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  1. Amit
    February 15, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    I think we are over crediting Mr Khan – only god could have anticipated the furore that the Shiv caused with that one comment by Shahrukh. In fact I would assume that no film maker one wants to offend the Sena as there is a direct bearing on profits that come in from the western territory. Yes, film makers use all kinds of gimmickry to make films work – but if for once I am to believe that Shahrukh’s act was deliberate, then this was a masterstroke!

    • Manish
      February 16, 2010 at 12:30 pm

      Shah Rukh should have known well with his earlier comments also causing a lot of flutter. Anything coming from him in support of Pakistani players would have been oppossed vehemntly by Sainiks. I think both parties here were willing to olbige each other. As far as loss of revenue is concerned, it could be compensated by insurance claims had the film was banned. I have this belief that camp Shah Rukh anticipated the buzz in advance, though may be not on such a massive scale.

  2. Roh
    February 15, 2010 at 11:52 am

    I dont think there’s any section in media who’d have thought of the other side to it. Khan perpetrates jingoism and cleverly backs off creating the flutter… he quoted Quran and what not post 26/11, he didnt do any thing for the victims and vanished as soon as Rab ne released… A good actor and a good marketer.. Will they contribute Rs25 crore they saved to Pune blast victims or buy Pakistani cricketers next IPL?

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