The aggressive push by Hollywood studios to localise and market their films in India has found its newest example in Marvel’s superhero flick Spider-Man: Far from Home that is being brought to the country by Sony Pictures International this week.
Sony has signed a spate of national and international deals for Spider-Man that it believes is an IP (intellectual property) attracting brands whose products cater to kids, youth and families.
“Over the years, Spider-Man has had the strongest affinity amongst all superheroes, and attracts fans across age groups. The franchise has historically invited a lot of brands, especially because of the huge number of Spidey fans across India," said Shony Panjikaran, head, marketing, Sony Pictures Entertainment India. However for Spider-Man: Far From Home, Sony has surpassed a number of previous instalments with multiple associations garnering an above-the-line media spend of ₹20 crore, testament to the growing popularity of Spider-Man in India, Panjikaran added.
First of all there is a Spider-Man edition of RealMe, an offshoot of Chinese smartphone brand Oppo, which will be further promoted by a YouTube masthead. Panjikaran said this association includes above-the-line promotions worth ₹10 crore.
Further, confectionary brand Center Fruit has brought out about 1.7 million special Spider-Man branded jars whose promotional material features its child protagonist wearing the Spider-Man red-and-black costume. An association with travel company Club Mahindra involves mall activations where people get to meet a Spider-Man costumed character, and sending a family to a special Spider-Man themed trip to Venice.
Besides a packaging association with candy brand M&M, the John Watts-directed film has tied up with automobile manufacturer Audi to shoot a three-minute ad with lead actors Tom Holland and Jacob Batalon promoting the Etron GT concept car.
“Teaming up with Sony Studios gives us an ideal opportunity to stage Audi´s electric offensive in a spectacular environment and to customize this important technology for a highly engaged audience. Therefore product placement plays a significant role in our new brand strategy“, Sven Schuwirth, head of brand Audi, digital business and customer experience at AUDI AG, said in a statement.
Panjikaran reiterated the point made by Kevin Feige, producer of Marvel films about why Spider-Man: Far from Home is special, it is the culmination of the infinity saga of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) which started with Infinity War, and continued with Endgame. The latter is currently the highest grossing Hollywood film in India at ₹373 crore.
“Our campaign is focusing on this aspect, as all Marvel fans are looking forward to this much- awaited instalment. It’s one of the most anticipated Hollywood films of the year, and we are sure that all Spider-Man and Marvel fans are going to absolutely love it," Panjikaran said about the film that releases this Thursday in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, besides English.