She might be Tintumon’s follower. But she has also created a first of sorts – promoting movies through SMS. The makers of ‘Sakudumbam Syamala’, slated for release this month end, are out with a new mode of promotion, group SMS jokes circling around the lead character Syamala, played by Urvashi. While some of the ‘Syamala jokes’ are from the film itself, others have been either created by the film crew or Malayalam ‘adaptations’ of famous jokes. “It is a new kind of promotional activity. Now, even a small child has access to cellphone and we thought it the best way to give publicity to the movie,’’ says its director Radhakrishnan Mangalath, adding in a lighter vein, “You can even look at it as the desperate attempt of a first-time director.’’ He is among those serial directors who have switched over to cinema from serials. “Syamala is an extremely greedy and a foolish housewife. And the jokes reflect her character,’’ says Krishna Poojappura, who has written the story and script for the movie. The idea to use group SMS jokes was put forward by his neighbour Jayakumar, who has been providing group SMS service through his firm Nanma Communications (see box) for the last one-and-half years. “We send one SMS each day and so far eight of them have come out,’’ says Jayakumar. The director of popular comedy serials like ‘Indumukhi Chandramathi’, ‘Sathi Leelavathi’, ‘Kootukudumbam’ and ‘Thiruda Thirudi’, Radhakrishnan adds on a serious note, “Though we don’t know who created Tintumon, Tintumon jokes are ruling the roost. And let Syamala be the female presence. When we hear about a movie, our first question is who is the hero and not who is the heroine. In my movie, a woman is the central character.’’ He adds, “A hero-centric film can bank on fans’ associations during the initial days of release. In the case of family-oriented films, the response is known only gradually and the SMSes are a way of creating curiosity about the character among the viewers.’’ Radhakrishnan has also come up with another innovation – using caricatures during the photoshoot of the film, which has been produced by Gopakumar for Kunchuveettil Creations. Sai Kumar plays Urvashi’s husband, Kunchacko Boban plays their son and Bhama their daugther-in-law.