Lowe’s National Creative Head, R Balakrishnan (better known as Balki) donned the hat of a movie director with ‘Cheeni Kum’. The light romantic drama, which hit movie halls mast week, is directed and scripted by Balki himself and produced by Sunil Manchandani. Balki tells exchange4media how the use of innuendo and sarcasm fit the bill when it came to brand associations for the movie.
One of the most highlighted associations was seen with Sugar Free, where little packets of the sweetener were left around the restaurant tables and kitchen scenes at London’s ‘Spice 6’ restaurant, where Amitabh Bachchan worked as a Chef. Incidentally, Spice 6 is a part of the Catch Spices brand. Balki informed that Airtel was the third official brand association for the film.
Speaking on the associations, he said, “We thought it was a good idea to associate Sugar Free with the film, given that the title was ‘Cheeni Kum’. The use of sarcastic statements in the film creates that association with something that is ‘sugar free.”
Communication brand Airtel’s ringtone is used throughout the film, and ketchup brand Catch Spices is used too. Interestingly, without any official association, hardware brand Sony Vaio and condom brand Durex, also got to make appearances in the film.
Elaborating more on these brands that were not associated with the movie but seen in the movie, Balki said, “Those were not conscious in-placements, but were only mentioned because of the circumstances.”
On the other hand, a brand that was associated with the movie but was not seen in the movie was ICICI, where the finance major carried its latest advertisement with a scene from the film, where Bachchan delivers a dialogue on insurance.
The film’s merchandising partner is the drink brand HotMuggs. This association was done by P9 (a Percept Holding’s movie marketing company). P9 is carrying out innovative and unique merchandises for HotMuggs on ‘Cheeni Kum’ in book stores, malls, multiplexes and shops. The merchandising included ‘Cheeni Kum’ theme-based mugs.
The movie brings out the subtle relationship that springs between actor Amitabh Bachchan, a 64-year old chef and actor Tabu, a 34-year old woman. It was shot over the last eight months, after the concept first kicked off two years ago.
Balki divulged that he is also working on his next film ‘Pa’ which will feature both the senior and the junior Bachchan. “I am still in the process of doing that and nothing can be said about when it will be out,” he said.