On a mysterious Friday evening of August 5, a bunch of excited and eager movie fans gathered at PVR Cinema outlets in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru to witness a novel initiative by movie channel Star Movies – an exclusive, invite-only movie screening. ‘Star Movies Secret Screening’ gives the participating ‘secret keepers’ an opportunity to watch some of the biggest Hollywood movies weeks before its actual international release.
Everybody loves a secret, but how many can keep one? Star Movies asked its viewers if they can keep a secret and those who replied in the affirmative became the ‘secret keepers’, who, in turn, posed the question to their followers.
The would-be secret keepers had to visit a URL and request for a secret knock code. Once they received the code, they had to enter it on the website to generate an invite for the secret screening. The experience continued at the screening and finally Star Movies and Fox Star Studios, together, unveiled the mega secret – ‘The Maze Runner’ – screening weeks before its worldwide release.
The buzz created on Twitter led to 30 million impressions and over 5000 mentions, and the hashtag #StarMoviesSecretScreening trended nationally.
Kevin Vaz, General Manager – English Cluster, Star India, said, “At Star Movies, we always believe in creating experiences for our viewers through strong engagement opportunities and high impact campaigns. We are proud to present a first-of-its-kind concept in India – ‘Star Movies Secret Screening’. We are happy with the overwhelming response and, as always, we will continue to constantly engage our audience with such immersive experiences.”
Shikha Kapur, Chief Marketing Officer, Fox Star Studios, said, “‘The Maze Runner’ has been getting great reviews worldwide. When you have a strong product like this, it is important to create evangelists out of audiences and this activity was aimed at doing so. We were sure that audiences would love ‘The Maze Runner’ and hence, confident of screening the film two weeks prior to the worldwide release. We at Fox Star Studios try and push the envelope of marketing with every film. I think we were hugely successful, as it took social media by storm and are proud to have partnered with Star Movies for this initiative. Given the responses we have got from the screening, we are confident the film will be received very well in India, when it releases on September 19.”