An Open Letter to Happy New Year’s director Farah Khan
Dear Farah ji,
How are you enjoying the attention of media over the success of Happy New Year? Your overjoyed face with beaming eyes is flashing across the media channels. Why not? You have been felicitated with congratulations by Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal whose brand ambassador is your favorite Shah Rukh Khan. After all, Didi can better connect with you for all the chaos you created in the reel. Be it political or cinematic chaos, you share it in common with her.
If I am not wrong, you have already brainstormed a superb script for the next filmy chaos. Do make sure to rope in Shah Rukh as lead actor with 10 pack abs because it is his brand image that smartly covers up whatever is dislikable about your script and direction. Yes, truth is always bitter. Let me remind you of the smart dialogue, mouthed by the advertising professional that Chitrangada plays in Inkaar starring Arjun Rampal, “If a product has some sort of deficiency, it can successfully be launched and sold through celebrity endorsement.”
Oh, sorry! You are intelligent enough to know it. The credit for Happy New Year’s box office success that you have been rejoicing in and celebrating goes to Brand Shah Rukh, not you. Yes, Brand Shah Rukh whose reputation and fan following have been capitalized on by topnotch brands such as LUX, Emami, Gitanjali Jewels, Tag Heuer, Pepsi, Hyundai, Videocon and Bharati Airtel Ltd. for marketing and promotion of their products through advertisements.
Shah Rukh has again proved to be above all criticism, on strength of his brand image that is highly saleable in the advertisement and entertainment industry. He himself is so confident of his brand power and salability that his home production Red Chillies Entertainment has produced your merely entertaining directorial ventures: Main Hoon Na, Om Shanti Om and Happy New Year.
Hindustan Unilever tied up with Shah Rukh and zeroed in on his larger than life persona to endorse LUX and Pepsodent which were losing the market share to their competitors. Leading Bollywood actresses from Hema Malini to Deepika Padukone have been the face of LUX till date. Brand SRK is the only male model who LUX chose to recover its waning popularity in 2005. The same was the case of Pepsodent which was losing its consumer base to the rival Colgate in 2009, according to Karol Dasgupta’s “Power of a Common Man”.
Much like Hindustan Unilever, you acted wisely by tying up with Shah Rukh to revive your directorial career which had sunk with Tees Mar Khan, a heist comedy flick starring Akshay Kumar, in 2010. Now, with Happy New Year’s box office success, your career has managed to tide over the waves and reach a safe shore. Neither your direction nor the script, but SRK’s fan following and marketing muscles came to your rescue. Even SRK himself admitted that he did Happy New Year to revive your career, in his interview with Arnub, which is a great hit on YouTube.com.
He played the lead role in Happy New Year despite he was lavished with negative criticism for his work in Chennai Express which is no way better than your latest direction. He neither responds to nor retaliates against the Bollywood critics who have not been able to eclipse his brand status with their sword-like pens. Besides the unbeatable brand image, he believes in the strength of his marketing muscles which supply all the push that your films need to hit the jackpot.
Shah Rukh Khan flexed his marketing muscles with all the might to promote your film. He brainstormed a unique plan to conduct promotional activities in India and abroad. According to his aggressive marketing strategy for Happy New Year, the leading cast staged live shows across the United States and the United Kingdom where the percentage of NRI population is high. Even the HNY team visited Google and Twitter headquarters in San Jose to promote the film. Popular reality shows including Kaun Banega Crorepati and Comedy Nights with Kapil were not out of SRK’s marketing mechanism.
Boman Irani, a maverick film and theatre actor, joined the cast of Happy New Year, most probably, because of his interest in SRK’s popularity, not in your direction or script. Boman Irani whose performance is dynamite in 3 Idiots, Munnabhai M.B.B.S., Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Don 2 and Page 3, has almost nothing to do other than shaking his booty and legs in Happy New Year.
Evidently, Happy New Year’s worldwide box office collection that stands at 300 crores as of now is brand SRK’s success, not yours. Cheers!!!