With brand associations becoming the norm, the corporate world and film industry are frequently joining hands for mutually beneficial associations. The latest in line is ‘Heyy Baby’, the Akshay Kumar-Vidya Balan starrer that opened to mixed reviews on August 24, which has tied up with Tata Indicom for co-promotion. Through this association, Tata Indicom has used the theme song from the movie to promote its ‘Unlimited Talktime’ plan by airing it as a 30-second long commercial. This tie-up apart, ESPN-STAR Sports and Zee Network have also joined the fray for promotional activities.
Navin Shah, CEO, P9 Integrated, which has the rights for brand associations for the movie, observed that several features were considered before the brands were chosen for this movie.
“The prime considerations were a common TG and the ‘age’ of the brand. All the associated brands speak to the film’s target viewer – the twenty-something city-dweller. It was a win-win situation for the movie and the brands – the movie got publicity worth about Rs 10 crore, while the brands got to present to their consumers’ content they eagerly awaited,” he further said.
Interestingly, there are no in-film placements in ‘Heyy Baby’, which has become an ‘in-thing’ with brand managers and film produces alike.
The sports channels had the stars from the movie to endorse one of their upcoming big ticket items, the 20-20 World Cup this September. Commenting on the tie-ups with ESPN-STAR Sports and Zee Network, Shah noted, “Something like this would ordinarily have cost the broadcaster lakhs of rupees, but they ended up getting an innovative promotion at zero cost. The Zee Network was given exclusive content in the form of behind-the-scenes footage from the film. In return, the broadcaster promoted the film and its content across its network, including its channels in the UK and the US.”
Though brand associations and in-film placements have seen a considerable rise in the last year and a half, barring a few notable examples, several placements and associations have not gone down well with viewers. Brands will have to wait and tread carefully for the viewers’ reactions to this increasing phenomenon, otherwise they might lose out on taking forward their messages to their TG through this medium.