Brands bet big on Diwali releases to light up biz

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi Nov. 11 | Updated on November 11, 2012




Brands are betting on Bollywood’s magic working for them this Diwali. All eyes are set on the Diwali releases this week, as Shah Rukh Khan in Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Ajay Devgn in Son of Sardaar will battle it out to woo movie buffs at the box office.

A slew of brands have also joined the bandwagon to cash in on the festival season by associating with Bollywood’s Diwali releases. Yash Raj Films’ Jab Tak Hai Jaan (JTHJ) has associated with brands such as Discovery Channel, Puma, Intel, Western Union, Wildcraft, Gibson, Royal Enfield and Pond’s. While Anushka who plays the character of Akira is portrayed as an employee of Discovery Channel, her character has been styled by Puma. Shah Rukh Khan as seen in the song “Challa” has been shown playing a very limited edition Gibson guitar.

Brands such as Intel and Royal Enfield have associated with JTHJ, to showcase their new products. While SRK is seen riding Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500cc, Intel in its first ever film association, is using it to promote its Ultrabooks. Western Union is cashing on the global appeal of SRK and Yash Raj Films, drawing a parallel of sending love home and its money transfer business and helping promote the film overseas.

Additional revenue

Ashish Patil, Vice-President, Yash Raj Films, said, “Monetising brand partnerships has emerged as an important ancillary revenue stream for film makers. All our associations either helped us offset our production costs or earn additional revenues.” For instance, Discovery assisted in production of the movie by facilitating permission to shoot in their London head-office, it is also running promotions across its network not only in India but also overseas.

Brands are also trying to engage with the consumers through these associations. While Pond’s is running a contest to send a couple to London, Intel plans to give away the SRK autographed Gibson guitar to raise money for charity.

Rudrarup Datta, Head of Marketing and Operations, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, which has co-produced Son of Sardaar, said, “We have done some interesting brand tie-ups for SOS.

SOS firecrackers can be seen in the cracker shops with our tie-up with Sony Fireworks Sivakasi. Other initiatives include a special contest where winners will be able to win Hyosung sports bikes and an association with Bagpiper for an extensive pan media campaign.” Promotion of the movie is also being done using ‘Dhabas’ and trucks for branding.

South show

In the South though, the story is different. Cyclone Nilam has dashed the hopes of the Telugu film industry this Diwali. Much of the coastal districts, which are revenue grossers, have suffered on account of the cyclone. Though not a very important season for the film industry here, Diwali used to be good for small producers as big films are generally slated for either Sankranti or Dasara.

“The only big ticket release this Diwali is Nagarjuna-starrer Damarukam. This, however, is not a planned release. It has been delayed for over one year for different reasons,” a film industry source, who did not want to be quoted, said.

(With inputs from K.V. Kurumanath in Hyderabad.)


Published on November 11, 2012

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