Catalyst

For these brands, the sky is the limit

| Updated on January 17, 2018 Published on July 21, 2016

The Disney-branded Jet Airways aircraft.   -  BusinessLine

Kabali da! AirAsia tied up with the most awaited movie of the year starring Rajinikanth.

Today, superstar Rajinikanth is all poised to take over the silver screen as Kabali, in a film of the same name. The film has reportedly earned ₹40 crore in tie-ups with brands for various promotions.

One of them took the form of an Air Asia aircraft with Kabali-branding. Not only will the plane, wrapped in the movie’s visuals, fly between various cities in India, it will even fly people from Bangalore to Chennai to watch the movie on the day of its release.

Apart from the buzz that such a venture creates, it gives a lot of exposure to both the movie and its vehicle, parked as it is in airports, catching the eyes of millions of passengers.

However, this is not the first time that a film is getting its own branded aircraft. Air New Zealand had done it several times over. It seems to take the prize for the largest plane decal, wrapping a Boeing 777 with characters from The Hobbit in 2012. The decal took over 400 hours to apply.

The theme was continued inside the aircraft and the crew even wore pointy ears for the first flight. In 2002 and 2003 the airline decorated three planes with The Lord of the Rings imagery. It featured actors from the film trilogy against backdrops of New Zealand locations used in the films.

Branding planes to promote other brands is not a new exercise. Disney Channel India in 2012 branded a Jet Airways plane with Disney characters including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. Nokia also promoted its smartphone Lumia 800 by wrapping a Jet aircraft in the phone’s colours, and inscribing the names of the Nokia employees that had worked on the marketing initiative.

Eva Air of Taiwan launched Hello Kitty branded aircraft across some of its routes. The theme was extended to the interiors of the aircraft, and passengers received Hello Kitty boarding passes and were served Hello Kitty meals.

Last year Emirates flew out the Arsenal football team to Singapore for a tournament in a special plane whose exteriors carried the team’s crest and images of some players. Air Asia has collaborated with UK-based football team QPR in a similar form of branding. US-based value airline JetBlue Airways launched a sports-branded aircraft as part of its multi-year partnership with Real Salt Lake Major League Soccer team in 2009.

Finnish airline Finnair tied up with Rovio, the Finnish creator of the video game Angry Birds to publicise its new route to Singapore. Jaguar bought space on a Ryanair aircraft to advertise itself. The Big Cat mascot was to remain on the plane for a year and was expected to be seen by some 40 million people at airports in the UK and Europe.

Compiled by Sravanthi Challapalli

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Published on July 21, 2016
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