Jaw Dropper: Bizarre promotional strategies adopted by Bollywooders

MUMBAI: With newcomer Sapna Pabbi planning to have ‘midnight chats’ with men to promote her erotic thriller ‘Khamoshiyan’, we take a look at instances when actors pushed the limits of creativity to an eccentric extent

Film promotions today are probably as important as the film itself. The need for visibility and the desire to generate curiosity around the film make stars and filmmakers adopt quirky promotional strategies.
Vidya Balan posed as a beggar outside the Hyderabad railway station as part of the promotional strategy for ‘Bobby Jasoos’ last year

The latest to join the quirky gang is Sapna Pabbi, who will make her debut with the upcoming film, ‘Khamoshiyan’. She will be chatting with men post midnight on social networking sites. When asked about the kind of a midnight chat this will be, the source says, “The idea is to promote her upcoming film.

As the film is an erotic thriller, the chat will be fun and flirtatious. However, the questions will be filtered.”

Hitlist looks at a few promotional strategies that made us cringe and laugh at the same time:
Sapna Pabbi will have a midnight chat with men to promote ‘Khamoshiyan’

Paying attention?
A wannabe actor, Mohammad Akil Malik, slapped Gauahar Khan on the sets of the reality show ‘India’s Raw Star’ recently. Although several fans and Bollywood celebrities took to social media supporting the actress, Malik later revealed that the entire act was staged and Khan had paid him and also promised him a role in ‘Dabangg 3’ if he helped her garner some attention.

Slap till you drop
Manisha Kumari, an aspiring actress and friend of starlet Rakhi Sawant, slapped director Sachindra Sharma publicly at the music launch of ‘Mumbai Can Dance Saala’ in the city. Reportedly, the director had failed to keep his promise of giving her a role in the film. Kumari alleges that she is a victim of the casting couch. Soon after Sharma was slapped, Rakhi escorted her friend out of the venue.

A-rated film in X-rated zone
In an unusual move, the theatrical trailer of Sunny Leone’s ‘Ragini MMS-2’ was launched on various adult websites. When asked about this unusual promotional strategy, the makers said that they wanted to do something that has never been attempted before. This was the first time that the trailer of a mainstream Indian film was released on adult sites. The film’s producers clearly cashed in on Leone’s adult star status.
Sunny Leone’s wardrobe, especially her lingerie, was auctioned as part of the promotional strategy for ‘Jism 2’

Spicing up superstitions
Bipasha Basu, who is being billed as the queen of horror films, promoted her 2012 film ‘Raaz 3’ by distributing neembu-mirchis (lemon and chillies) to the Mumbai autowallas. Well, whether the autowallas were able to ward off the evil eye or not we don’t know, but going by the film’s box office collections, it sure worked for Bips.