The success of smaller banner movies has made not just the industrywallas
happy, but also marketers. Despite not enjoying a canvas of the Yashraj
or Barjatya variety, several recent small banner movies have shared frames
with leading brands. A variety of reasons are being cited for this trend,
but the general contention is that in-film placement itself is still some
distance away before evolving into a strategy.
In-film brand placements have made their presence felt in recent smaller
banners movies such as Airtel in Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye, Videocon in
Hungama, Spykar in Kya Kool Hain Hum, Tanishq in Paheli, FedEX in Swades,
Zingaroo in Jism, and Kinetic in Gayab.
Admitting that it remains a challenge to place a brand in a smaller
canvas movie, Sanjay Bhutiani, CEO, P9 Integrated, said that there are many
marketers today who appreciate the genre because of the smaller outlay
and hence value for money.
He said, “The reason is that these are niche films; they know what their
target audience is going to be, and are made with new kinds of story ideas.
Their DVD sales are also good. Audiences actually make it a point to
see these films and so, for the marketer, the expectation is clear.” He
cited ‘mushrooming of multiplexes’ as another reason for this trend.
Darshana Bhalla, CEO, Mates, compares in-film placements in small
banner movies to beauty brands advertising in beauty magazines. He said,
“Content-wise these are well focused, and if the producers are
successful in carving an audience for their films, then definitely the brands will be
drawn to them.”
Marketers’ apprehensions seem to have vanished when it comes to small banner
films. Several marketers feel that the brand fit and storyline matter
more than the banner itself.
“As long as the product is positively linked to the storyline in the movie,
and it is something new that attracts attention, then it doesn’t really
matter whether the movie is small or big banner. But one wouldn’t want
to do branding in the films for a mere placement reason. The story line is
important,” said Sunil Tandon, VP-Marketing, Videocon.
However, Sanil Suvarna, Director of Mega Entertainment Network, points
out that the entire film industry needs to undergo a seachange before
understanding the real benefits of in-film placement so far as
marketing objectives are concerned.
“Only the top ten per cent of the industry has changed in terms of
understanding movie marketing which is a very important aspect of
film-making. Marketers are at many times sceptical about smaller banner
movies when it comes to placing their brand in it, as many producers do
not keep up their commitments,” he said.
Citing that around 45 of 50 movies released bomb, with only two to
three per cent making money in a year, he explained, “One needs to have money to market a film. And positioning is required, which requires money. With
the mindset change will come the confidence to place brands in all kinds of
films, but till then marketers are going to be more comfortable with
Smaller banners mean smaller budgets and smaller risks – a point reiterated
by Jagdeep Kapoor of Samsika Marketing Consultants. He said, “It is not
so important whether the banner is big or small, the question is whether
the movie will be successful or not. Since small banners are
cost-effective, risk can be spread over many movies, which thus can bring in more mileage and more attention.”
Adding that the idea is to have in-film placement as a strategy and not
as a tactical measure, he stated, “Once that happens, marketers can derive
more quality from the quantity of films. But the most important thing is
that brands need to integrate with the film.”
The role of the filmmaker is another factor that is being viewed
critically before associating with a movie. V Govindraj, Head - Sales and
Marketing, Tanishq, underlined the connect, stating that the filmmaker would
determine the delivery of the film. “The idea is not to force the product in the
film but rather have a natural integration. Our collection did extremely
well because of our association with Paheli,” he said.
Sanjay Bhattacharjii of Springboard Productions, avers, “People will go after good concept films, as today advertisers want to take a chance
because the exposure will be good. Low-cost, high impact movies work, and there is a lot of mileage if the concept is good and these points withstanding,
brands won’t dither from small banners.”
The verdict seems to be that the winner will be brands, if placed well, and
that the banner size doesn’t really matter.