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Meet the marketing brain behind Ra.One and Vicky Donor

Last updated on: May 29, 2013 16:48 IST

Image: Tanaaz Bhatia
Photographs: Courtesy Bhatia

Tanaaz Bhatia, the marketing mind behind movies like Ra.One and Vicky Donor, talks to Vatsala Chhibber about her journey from banking to Bollywood and more..

From launching a line of travel bags to promote Main Aur Mrs Khanna to introducing tee-shirts with messages endorsing sperm donation for Vicky Donor, Tanaaz Bhatia seeks innovation in each of her marketing initiatives.

A banker by profession, it did not take much time for Bhatia to figure out the growing need for marketing professionals in the Indian entertainment industry.

When Bhatia started Bottomline Media, a marketing solutions company in 2009, there were few players in the market and she had to make do with a two-member team.

However, today having worked with the who's who in tinsel town, and with leading clients like Red Chillies and Dharma Productions to her credit, Tanaaz Bhatia has come a long way to create a niche for herself.

In this interview, she tells us more about her inspiration to start the company, the challenges she faced along the way and the lessons she's learned...

Prior to being an entrepreneur, you worked in the banking industry. What lessons did you learn from your association with the finance world?

The finance world teaches you a lot like discipline, attention to detail, how to dot the Is and cross the Ts.

Every detail mattered, it taught me how dedication and hard work can get any job done.

What motivated you to venture into the largely untapped (at least in India) business of film marketing by establishing your company Bottomline Media?

It was all by accident, I never thought that I would be running a media company that had a large part of its business in Bollywood.

Having worked in the media sector in the US as a media banker, the understanding for the business and the whole interaction with studios intrigued me.

When I moved back, it was serendipity, and an opportunity presented itself and Bottomline Media was born.

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'The way the movie is presented marks the success of the film'

Image: Tanaaz Bhatia with Chitrangada Singh during the promotion of the latter's film Inkaar
Photographs: Courtesy YouthIncMag

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while setting up your company?

It is always a big challenge when you start something by your own.

The main challenge I faced was to start a company in the entertainment industry especially, when I did not have a film background.

The other challenge was to break through the mindset of Indian and traditional Bollywood marketing putting forth marketing innovations that had never been witnessed before.

Do you feel the way a movie is marketed can play a vital role in the success or failure of a film?

Marketing is a catalyst to a movie. Creating awareness and opening the box office is how marketing helps the movie.

At the end of the day, the script and way the movie is presented is what marks the success or failure of a film.

Tags: Bollywood

'Ra.One was a case study in marketing'

Image: Ra.One The Game, created for PlayStation was released on October 5, 2011

Having worked on an extensive list of films, is there any particular project that you especially enjoyed working on?

It has to be Ra.One. It, in itself, was a case study in marketing.

Working with the Badshah of Bollywood and then creating marketing innovations that had never been done before was purely thrilling.

Starting from a worldwide campaign, it was the first time a Playstation game based on Bollywood was launched and there were so much more.

Every day we created a new avenue to market the film and just working with Shahrukh was a learning experience.

'Dare to dream, it's all about the journey'

Image: Tanaaz Bhatia with Saif Ali Khan during the promotion of the film Agent Vinod
Photographs: Courtesy YouthIncMag

Bottomline Media is the first Indian company to be hired as marketing consultants for a Hollywood film (The Zero Theorem). Do you think marketing strategies vary drastically with Bollywood and Hollywood films?

Yes, strategies do vary. Hollywood movies have the look book, the positioning of in-film, the storyboard of where the products will be placed, how they will be shot -- everything is pre-determined.

Deadlines are of key essence.

Marketing strategy is put to play even before the film is shot to understand the positioning, different territories have different focuses. In all, a very interesting aspect one gets to learn on movies.

Being a successful entrepreneur at such a young age, do you have any advice for our readers who wish to venture into businesses of their own?

Dare to dream. If you desire it, work hard, persistence and determination will help you achieve it. It's all about the journey.