Chhapaak vs Tanhaji vs Darbar: Brands leverage the big box office clash

The three movies, all giants in their own rights, have locked horns for a big brand war even as they battle it out at the box office

e4m by Neethu Mohan & Shreshtha Verma
Updated: Jan 10, 2020 4:13 PM


Chhapaak Vs Tanhaji Vs Darbar

Deepika Padukone’s Chhapaak, Ajay Devgan’s Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior and Rajinikanth’s Darbar are all set to clash at the box office. The three movies, all featuring top actors in the industry, have been pitted against one another, despite belonging to different genres. While it becomes difficult for viewers to choose one, makers of all three movies are leaving no stone unturned to promote their respective movies.

Padukone starrer Chhapaak has been making the right noise ever since its trailer was dropped a week ago. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, featuring real-life couple Ajay Devgn and Kajol created a buzz with its action-packed trailer. A year after the huge success of Petta, Super Star Rajnikanth is also back with his engaging commercial entertainer  Darbar.

 While Fox Star targets the mass market for Padukone starrer Chhapaak, Rajnikanth kick-started Darbar promotions by branding on a domestic flight. T-series took the OOH route to woo the viewers and promote Tanhaji. On the other hand,  reports suggest that Darbar, which is produced on a budget of Rs 107 crores by Lyca Productions, has already raked in around Rs 220 crore from the sale of its worldwide theatrical rights and in terms of satellite, distribution and audio rights.

 The 2016 release of Rajinikanth's Kabali had created a new concept in brand promotions. Around 10-15 brands were associated with the movie back then. Air Asia has introduced a flight with movie posters as a part of movie promotion. 

Following the same route, Darbar has also tied up with SpiceJet and flew aircraft with the movie poster. SpiceJet is also a brand partner for the movie.

Darbar promotions by SpiceJet

It began when SpiceJet airlines unveiled ‘Darbar Rajini’ livery on its flights. The outside branding on the aircraft bearing an image of Rajinikanth in police uniform from the movie Darbar was displayed. A total of four flights with the Rajnikanth images are in operation.

 Chhapaak is a hard-hitting film that touches upon the very important topic of acid attack. It also marks Deepika Padukone’s first outing as a producer. From extremely relevant brand associations to making a grand entry on TikTOk and dancing with the real-life acid attack-survivor, Padukone has been making earnest efforts to promote her upcoming movie.

 Similarly, Ajay Devgan, Kajol and Saif Ali Khan starrer Tanhaji invested hugely in OOH for the movie promotions. From Delhi metro to on-road hoardings, the makers of this historical movie takes the OOH based movie-marketing to the next level.

 Exchange4media also spoke Ashish Saksena, COO - Cinemas, BookMyShow to understand which movie is getting more engagement in terms of ticket booking. 

According to Ashish Saksena, COO - Cinemas, BookMyShow this is arguably one of the busiest weeks of the year with festivities across both the northern and southern belt of the country. 

"Helmed by Meghna Gulzar, the early trends for Chhapaak’s advance tickets on BookMyShow have been very promising with the film holding its own amidst other biggies," revealed Saksena.

"The Maratha battlefield drama of Devgan’s Tanhaji has also appealed to movie-goers with steady audience demand for advance tickets for the movie. Superstar Rajnikant’s Darbar remains the star performer having gotten off to a flying start as expected. The Tamil and Telugu versions of Darbar have performed very well and continue to show strong uptake," he added.

Let alone movies, even brands are perfectly cashing on this massive box office clash.

While SpiceJet leveraged Darbar with the plan-wrap strategy, online matchmaking service BharatMatrimony came up with a unique idea. The company announced an association associated with Rajinikanth starrer Darbar for the integration of BharatMatrimony services including TamilMatrimony and TeluguMatrimony.

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Even the telecom giant, Bharti Airtel joined hands with Lyca productions. As a part of their partnership, Airtel launched an array of tempting offers such as limited edition Darbar-themed Sim packs etc.

Even the blobbies of Nippon Paint India have shared screens with Rajini across television screens and theatres.

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The multiplex partner for Darbar is PVR. The film has teamed up with Gaana as its streaming partner and with Twitter as its social media partner. For its healthcare and merchandise partners, the film roped in Chennai-based hospital Westministerand Coveritup respectively. 

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Big labels like RSH Global, Medlife, Myntra, etc. joined hands with Chhapaak for purpose-led marketing. RSH Global, a personal care company in the business of skincare products, under its brand name ‘Joy’ today, launched a new range of product suitable for the sensitive skin of acid attack survivors, JOY Sensitive.

Medlife become the official healthcare partner of Chhapaak, who launched campaigns with socially-relevant messages. They went live ahead of the movie’s release on 10th January 2020 and are currently trending as #AbLadnaHai and #BharosaMedlifeKa on various platforms.

Healthcare financing platform ImpactGuru is the film's medical crowdfunding partner. Donors were urged to support medical causes on ImpactGuru’s fundraiser pages. One donor will be chosen to meet the star of the film Deepika Padukone.

All in all, it is one of those weeks where each film is commanding a great booking and cumulatively this will be a splendid weekend and a great opportunity for brands. However, the jury is still out on who wins the battle at the box office.

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