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Search Battle of the Kollywood Titans: Jilla vs Veeram
Friday, January 17, 2014
You probably know about India’s most all-singing and all-dancing cultural export, the Bollywood movie industry. You may not be as familiar, however, with Bollywood’s cousin to the south, the thriving Tamil-language film industry known as “Kollywood.” Kodambakkam, the industry’s epicenter, is home to a base of extraordinarily passionate fans. In fact, in 2010 when director Mani Ratnam made two versions of the exact same movie in Hindi and Tamil, the Tamil “Raavanan” brought home $26 million in box office receipts, dwarfing the Hindi “Raavan’s” $5 million box office revenues. That gap was
also reflected in searches
We witnessed some of this passion for Kollywood first-hand over the holiday weekend. Over this past
, or harvest, the two top trending search terms in India
were “Jilla” and “Veeram” — movies released by Kollywood’s biggest rival stars, Vijay, aka the “Young General,” and Ajith, aka "The Leader”. Here are the trailers:
These movies claimed top spots in last week’s top trending search terms in India. We also noticed an uptick in searches for these terms in the original Tamil script rather than the phonetic English version that is typically more popular. The volume of search queries has increased significantly since the last time these actors released their respective movies “Pokkiri” and “Alwar” at the same time in 2007, showing that more Tamil-speaking Indians are coming online and searching for what is most interesting to them. While searches for “Jilla” were concentrated in India as well as Sri Lanka, interest in “Veeram” spread more widely across the Tamil diaspora, with search queries from the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Still, Bollywood has kept a bigger profile overseas. For the 2013 International Indian Film Academy awards in Macau, the IIFA organisers brought highlights and backstage interviews to their official
, broadcasting the ceremony online to viewers across the globe. Marketing for newly released Bollywood movies usually also includes an active online marketing campaign. The Internet age allows people to market and broadcast to diasporas, not just nations. As interest in Kollywood grows, the industry can boost its international cache even more by building its online presence, appealing both to the Tamil diaspora as well as new audiences worldwide.
Posted by Vaishnavi Jayakumar, Public Policy & Government Relations Associate, Google Asia-Pacific
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