Innovative product placement in Bollywood movies is helping brands to become a way of life and the audiences seem to be lapping it up. In the recent past Coke was featured extensively during Subhash Ghai’s movie ‘Taal’, which gave a lot of mileage to the brand. In the recently released Hrithik Roshan starrer "Aap Mujhe Ache Lagne Lage"Hero Honda CBZ and Coke have utilized In-film branding beautifully to their advantage.
The hero of the movie Hrithik Roshan drives the Hero Honda CBZ and announces this overtly during the movie, which comes across as a strong endorsement for the brand. CBZ bike is itself shown multiple times during the movie. Coke, which has used the Hollywood as a medium before is seen lavishly in the movie, whenever there is a college canteen scene. The family restaurant McDonald is also showcased, as the hero Hrithik and heroine Amisha go to McDonald’s and have a meal.
Media analysts point out that In-film branding has changed in character over the years as earlier the brand manager or the marketers paid the art director or the painter some money and that ensured visibility for the brand. In the current environment the money being charged is much more and the director himself is involved in this decision. Most of the times the director blends the brand with the script of the movie.
Though a great way to cut through the media clutter, marketers have to be careful with In-film branding.
Firstly, the product placement in the film and endorsement from the star should be subtle and not too loud to become unbelievable by the audience. It should ideally blend very well with the script.
Secondly, what might be promised to a brand at the start of a deal might not be what the brand finally gets causing lots of dissonance to the marketers. This might happen, as the director might want to maintain the storyline and visual without the brand being part of it.
In the currently playing Ram Gopal Verma’s movie “Company” news channels got too much mileage with “Aaj Tak” standing out.
G Krishnan, CEO Aaj Tak points out, “We have benefited out of this but this was Ram Gopal Verma’s idea and part of the script and we had nothing to do with it.” The story in “Company” involved a lot of reporting and news channels including ‘Aaj Tak’ lent that reporting flavour to the script.
With media planners, marketers exploring innovative ways of product placement in movies we are likely to see more brands becoming a way of life in Bollywood movies