Move over Philip Kotler, here comes the master filmmaker RajamouliThe art of publicity has scaled an entirely new dimension and to answer your question, no, it’s not Philip Kotler, the Marketing Guru from the West or our very own Ram Gopal Varma instrumental in this change. It is SS Rajamouli, a household name in the world of global cinema today, who deserves the credit.Hardly a day goes by without Rajamouli or his latest creation RRR making the headlines in one way or the other. The latest video to go viral on the internet is Steven Spielberg’s zoom conversation with Rajamouli in which he praised RRR to the skies or an earlier interview of Avatar creator James Cameroon who equated Rajamouli’s storytelling with Shakespearean classicism.This obviously brings us to the question: Is RRR really worthy of all the attention that it is getting? There can be no definitive answer to this, for art is subjective. There might as well be people who watched Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather and felt bored. But the box-office cannot lie and it is a fact that the masses patronised RRR in such a humongous way that it ended up as one of the top grossers in Indian history. Publicity is both an art and a science. It is a science for there are certain standard methods in which the filmmakers reach out to the audience. Yet, it is an art form as well because the overall design cannot conform to a template. The apt metaphor would probably be that of a young man trying to woo his lady love. Giving her flowers, complimenting her, opening the door for her, chivalry, etc., are part of the standard protocol (science), yet they do not necessarily guarantee success. Beyond them all is the personality of the young man (art) which clubbed with other activities eventually decides whether he is successful or not. Excessive publicity can kill a film as can lack of it. Today, directors are no longer restricted to just creating the film alone, they are playing an active role in the marketing and distribution aspects of the movie, too. In that sense, they are playing a major role in eking out the promotional strategy for their films in collaboration with professionals. This is where Rajamouli towers over the rest. Right from the day, ‘RRR’ was announced till date, he has successfully kept the film alive in the minds of audiences in a phased manner. His campaign can be divided into three phases: Pre-release, Post-release and Digital. The pre-release campaign was entirely geared at generating immense interest in the film and making audiences wait eagerly for the day of release. This involved touring the whole country along with the star cast and popularising them, thereby getting them public acceptance. Here, he laid the groundwork for getting noticed by the West when he spent a bomb to feature the posters of Ram Charan and Jr NTR at the iconic Times Square in Midtown Manhattan, New York. Hordes of Ram Charan and Jr NTR fans were also transported across India to cheer and yell for them during their press meets, thereby adding to the buzz around the film.Post-release, the success of the film spoke for itself, yet, the commendation from Western audiences and critics on social media took the movie to a higher pedestal. The crowds flowed into the theatres and the producers and buyers sat back with a delighted smile on their faces.Phase three, the digital part commenced after the movie released on Netflix and broke the stratosphere. It was the period where superstars and renowned personalities of Hollywood started eulogising RRR and Rajamouli. It established the perfect foundation for RRR to try its luck at various prestigious film festivals culminating in a historic moment when the “Naatu Naatu” song from the film became the first Indian song to win a Golden Globe. The congratulations that poured in, beginning with Prime Minister Modi made one wonder if India had won the Cricket World Cup again, taken back Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir or conducted another surgical strike successfully. “Naatu Naatu” is also in contention for an Oscar and should that dream materialise, one can only speculate as to the kind of enthusiasm and stature it would generate for Rajamouli.If you are a Telugu guy and didn’t like RRR for some reason, chances are you’d be trolled mercilessly and labeled a ‘traitor’ pretty much the way people would call you anti-Telangana if you criticise KCR or anti-India if you berate Narendra Modi. This is by no means a condemnation rather it’s an acknowledgement of the beauty of the strategy employed by the team where a majority of the people start to think the way you want them to and associate strongly with the individual or his creation. In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's ‘A study in Scarlet’, Dr Watson becomes the flat mate of Sherlock Holmes and accompanies him on a case. Sherlock explains the case to Dr Watson and then says, “I will not explain any more of the case to you doctor lest you come to the conclusion that i am a very ordinary individual after all.” Responding to this, Dr Watson says, “That i shall never do! You have brought detection to as near an exact science as it will ever be brought in this world.”Maybe, the same can be said about Rajamouli and his publicity.