Google India Ropes In A Bollywood Superstar To Promote Google+


Google India head Rajan Anandan yesterday announced in a press conference that it has joined hands with the Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan to promote its new social network, Google+. He also added that the actor who is often referred to as the “The King of Bollywood,” will be one of the first Indian celebrities to join Google+.

As per the agreement, Shahrukh Khan will participate in live video chats with fans using the Google+ Hangouts feature over the next couple of weeks. In return, the Internet giant will promote Shahrukh’s forthcoming sci-fi movie “Ra.One” through YouTube and Google+.

Mr. Rajan Anandan said:

“We are very pleased to associate with Shahrukh Khan to create a unique and customised destination for Ra.One on YouTube (NSDQ: GOOG). In the last few years, Indian production houses have begun to embrace the YouTube platform to engage fans, distribute movies and leverage rich media ad formats to promote their movies online. Bollywood is now an integral part of the YouTube experience and reaches over 22 million unique users in India. With this channel we want to demonstrate how YouTube can be used creatively to connect with the highly engaged YouTube community in India and across the world.”

The movie sports a custom built YouTube channel, which Mr. Anandan claimed to be the first of its kind for a Bollywood movie. It will offer exclusive video content like unseen footage of the star cast, behind the scenes shots, videos of the Ra.One premiere and red carpet events planned in London, and host various contests to engage the fans.

In a similiar fashion, Google+ will also feature numerous social games and a digital comic based on the movie.

Speaking about this agreement, Shahrukh Khan said:

“YouTube is an incredibly powerful platform to engage fans across the globe and is integral to all blockbuster movie promotions in Hollywood. For Ra.One, I wanted to leverage the full potential of digital media and create an experience on YouTube and Google+ that has never been done for any Indian film. I am very excited about the project and am personally working with the Google team to create a destination that my fans can enjoy from anywhere in the world.”

Will it Work?

Roping in Shahrukh Khan to promote Google+ is definitely a good move to attract the common man but I am little sceptical about whether users will come back to use the service once these promotions die down.

However, Google+ already sports 4 million early adopters from India and the market penetration of Google services in the country is pretty impressive as well.

Hence if the company manages to get more celebrities and brands on board with a localized marketing push like it did with Google Chrome, it might just help Google+ gain the required traction from users. What do you think?


» This article was first published by Penn Olson, The Asian Tech Catalog, and is reproduced here with permission.

This article originally appeared in Penn Olson.

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