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'Batman V Superman' movie rides big on brand endorsements

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'Batman V Superman' movie rides big on brand endorsements

After ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ has generated interest from brands’ across categories like automobiles, airlines and FMCG products both in India and abroad to latch on to its popularity. Even its co-producer Warner Bros, has pulled out all the stops to promote the superhero movie across the US and Asia Pacific regions.

Global tie-ups

Turkish Airlines was the official airline partner of the movie and was featured within a pivotal scene in the film. Its latest TVC had movie stars, Jesse Eisenberg and Ben Affleck, announcing its new destinations and it extended the in-flight movie experience for its passengers by offering limited edition ‘Batman V Superman’ themed amenity kits. The airlines also sponsored the film’s world premiere in New York City on March 20, 2016.

American food company, General Mills teamed up with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to bring the iconic DC Comics characters back to cereal boxes.

Jeep UK collaborated with the filmmakers to launch an online ad campaign where superhero fans choose their allegiance to Batman or Superman. But the highlight of the association was the introduction of the 2016 Jeep Renegade ‘Dawn of Justice’ Special Edition.

Tie-ups in India

Similarly in India, different brands took the opportunity to partner with the movie and reach out to their target audience. For instance Maruti Suzuki collaborated with Warner Brothers to release their new ad campaign-- ‘The Ultimate Face-Off Baleno, Batman V Superman TVC’.

Prior to the release of the movie, maker of Cadbury chocolates—Mondelez, tied up with the production house to launch a special edition of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolates (shaped in the form of characters from the movie) called ‘Cadbury Heroes’ in India.

 According to Yusuf M Shaikh, Business Head – Distribution, Acquisition & IPR, Percept Pictures, the timing of Mondelez couldn’t have been better. He said, “T20 World Cup is going on, moreover it is vacation time for kids and there’s no big movie around the corner. So, it’s perfect time for Cadbury to grab eyeballs and generate excitement. In general, these tie-ups help brands to reach the right audience. Most importantly they know their TG is not going to miss the film.”

Shaikh estimates the Cadbury and other tie-ups with the movie to be in the range of Rs 2 to 2.5 crore in India. “Star driven campaign gets expensive and there’s a ready-made product driven by stars. You are riding on someone’s brand value to reach out to the audience. It’s a given that even the movie gets visibility through these tie-ups. So brands can look forward to these types of endorsements rather than spending big on stars. This is the best way to go about it,” he adds.

The players in e-commerce segment didn’t waste time either. Local commerce venture ‘Nearbuy’ entered into a digital partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures which entails onsite promotion, official movie merchandise and premier tickets for the movie in India. The online travel company—Cleartrip, offered superhero fans preview screenings of the movie in metros like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore through its app.

Even the broadcasting space is latching on to this movie to cash in on it. Turner’s channels like Toonami and HBO are using innovative ways to reach out to their audiences. Turner's kids channel Toonami is showcasing Batman and Superman movies and has special contests for the superhero fans that will help them win movie merchandise.

Meanwhile English movie channel HBO is also giving its viewers a chance to win red carpet premiere events in Delhi and Mumbai, through a competition on its app ‘Rushh’. Also a teaser, ‘Choose Your Side’ for the movie was flashed across social media platforms, besides being aired on HBO and WB channels.

“Special previews are good ways to monetise on the brand (movie),” explained Shaikh.

Manish Porwal, MD, Alchemist Marketing & Talent Solutions has a different take on these tie-ups. He elaborates, “None of these associations from India can be anywhere considered in the 'endorsement' space, they are about leveraging the film mostly outside of it and not being a formal 'in film' placements. That is usual; given the planning and execution cycle of Hollywood movies does not match with the Indian cycle. Add to that the cost of doing global alignments within the movie and it would probably still not make cost benefit sense yet for brands within India.”

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