Hollywood nets Rs50 crore from brand tie-ups in India4 min read . Updated: 27 Jun 2014, 11:18 PM IST
Brands targeting select audiences benefit from low-cost publicity as such promotions are at least 50% cheaper
Mumbai: As Transformers: Age of Extinction, hit the big screens on Friday, a clutch of brands such as Snapdeal.com, TVS Apache bikes, Tang, Oreo biscuits, Xolo mobile phones, Godrej Properties and Freecharge.com hitched a ride on the fourth instalment of the popular action film franchise.
Although brand tie-ups with Hollywood films aren’t new, experts in the film sector say that the amount of money spent on co-promoting big releases is rising by 25-30% a year.
For instance, in the quarter ended June, three major Hollywood films—The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Transformers: Age of Extinction—are estimated to have raked in approximately ₹ 50 crore on the back of brand promotions and tie-ups, said Navin Shah, joint managing director of EMC Solutions Worldwide Pvt. Ltd, a branded entertainment solutions firm.
Shah said brands looking to reach out to select target audiences—especially youth and kids, largely in the SEC A and B segments in metro cities— latch on to these films.
The biggest benefit for brands is publicity at a lower cost—such promotions are at least 50% cheaper than buying routine ad space or slots in media.
Besides, it is almost like a fresh creative for the brands as they use clips from these latest multi-million dollar movies.
Also, it is implied endorsement. “As media becomes more fragmented and more expensive, such deals can often help amplify the brand message. Especially on digital media, which is the new world order today," said Shah. “It offers you a chance to co-create content in the shortest-possible time and in the most glamorous way."
According to three independent sources, brand promotions of this scale cost anywhere between ₹ 50 lakh and ₹ 2 crore, depending on the nature of association. It could be tactical where the brand uses clips from the movie for its television promos. Or it could be more integral where it is part of the product pack design as it was in the case of Kellogg Co.’s Chocos cereal and The Amazing Spider-Man.
X-Men: Days of Future Past, starring actor Hugh Jackman, did well in terms of promotional tie-ups, especially, from mobile brand Micromax that spent close to ₹ 4 crore on the tie-up—the highest spend ever by an Indian brand on a film, said a spokesperson for Fox Star Studies in an email.
The company used the opportunity to highlight its association with Jackman, who was appointed brand ambassador for its Canvas Turbo A250 range of phones, said the Fox Star Studios spokesperson.
Roshini Bakshi, vice-president and head of consumer products, retail, publishing and franchise marketing at Disney India, said that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 collaborated with approximately 38 brands. “The product range cut across major categories, including apparel, toys, stationery, home solutions and much more," she said.
There has been a marked increase in interest from advertisers, as the reach of Hollywood films extends beyond India’s English-speaking audience. “These films are getting into the larger markets on the back of versions dubbed in regional languages. Moreover, there is the benefit of associating with an international film and a strong positive rub-off (of associating with a popular movie franchise)," said Rudrarup Dutta, vice-president (marketing) at Viacom18 Motion Pictures, which released Transformers: Age of Extinction.
For instance, Transformers: Age of Extinction will release in 1,400 screens in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. X-Men: Days of Future Past was released here with 1,500 prints in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telegu.
“A decade ago, when studios did not put out dubbed versions of their films, the contribution of English Hollywood films to the overall pie was approximately 3-5%. Today, that contribution has almost tripled to 12-15%," said Jehil Thakkar, head of media and entertainment at consulting firm KPMG India.
“From their dubbed versions in regional languages, these films make 60-80% of their total revenues," he said.
However, advertisers choose to steer clear of experimenting with a new Hollywood film, actors or themes.
“Advertisers are selective in that sense and tend to gravitate towards the larger, more established movie franchises. So, while they would be happy to experiment with a Bollywood film, with new faces, very rarely will you see them investing with the same confidence in a lesser-known Hollywood cast or somewhat different theme," said Ameya Sule, senior director (entertainment) at GroupM ESP, the sports and entertainment consultancy of GroupM.
Sandeep Komravelly, vice-president (marketing) at Snapdeal.com, said the shopping site was excited to be associated with a franchise like Transformers. “Given their popularity, there is a lot of interest amongst consumers to own and buy merchandise like T-shirts, mouse, key chains and 3-D glasses. We are partnering with the franchise to promote and sell the merchandise on our platform as well," he said.
GroupM ESP’s Sule said the next few months look good for the segment, with studios slating some big Hollywood releases such as Hercules and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, among others.