The marketing strategy was divided into 3 key phases: revealing to the market that this story existed, drumming up conversations around it and finally, the premiere on Women’s Day.
Soni’s team had the support of the Indian Navy, who launched the trailer using their own handles, in coordination with a press note about the documentary. The response was immediate, with multiple news outlets writing about Tarini.
But it was necessary to reach audiences on the ground. The crew of INVS Tarini was taken on a 3-city tour of leading colleges in Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Delhi. Thousands of students were in attendance, fascinated, inspired and curious to know more.
“Our message was that anything is achievable,” Soni explained. “These women were not superhuman, they were regular people who believed in themselves and we said that if they can achieve this, so can you.”
Accompanied by the tagline, #GirlsWhoSailed, this messaging reached its zenith at an event in Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi, attended by top Navy brass who felicitated women achievers, from Fathima Beevi, the first female judge in the Supreme Court to entrepreneur Shahnaz Hussain.
When the documentary finally premiered on TV and Disney+ Hotstar on Women’s Day, it ranked number 3 in the genre, increasing viewership by 200% in its slot. But it hasn’t stopped there - Tarini will be screened in schools across the country, particularly in rural areas, in partnership with leading NGOs.
Looking back, Soni believes it came down to the 6 women at the heart of the story. “We treated them like you would treat the talent for any big show or movie,” he said. “This was a different approach from anything we had done before. We treated them as celebrities and it really worked wonders.”
It’s something Takulia agrees with wholeheartedly. “These women are in their early 20s but you meet them and they’re so rooted,” she smiles. “That’s when you realise what true heroes are really like.”