Co-branded marketing media spends for Hindi films Rs100 cr a year: ESP Properties Report
ESP Properties, the sports and entertainment programming specialist arm of GroupM, released the first edition of the entertainment marketing report, Showbiz, The Indian Superpower
ESP Properties, the sports and entertainment programming specialist arm of GroupM, released the first edition of the entertainment marketing report, Showbiz, The Indian Superpower. The report is segmented into three parts: film marketing, celebrity endorsements and content licensing.
The report says that the total co-branded marketing media spends for Hindi films have reached approximately Rs100 crore a year. In the past 10 years, film-brand associations have steadily increased, with the only dip coming in 2008 when the entire economy was hit by the recession and there was a dip of around 2 percent in co-branded marketing associations. 2017 has seen a similar dip, perhaps due to various economic reforms in India and digital content increasing its share. As per a Euromonitor International report, by 2030, the leisure and entertainment category will be as much as education. So we can only imagine the significance of entertainment in our lives.
Getting on the co-branded associations' bandwagon is not just Bollywood but also regional cinema with over 15% of the films released in South India having brands associated with them in 2017. Marathi films too have seen a phenomenal growth in last three years with almost 16% films having brand associations in 2017. 25% Hollywood films had brand associations in 2017. A large number of Hindi releases particularly happen in the third and fourth quarter of the year, courtesy many holidays due to India’s festive season making this period a marketing goldmine. For regional films, predominantly South Indian films, the releases are more or less equally spread across the year. Yet, local brands explore maximum associations in the middle of the year. March and October being festive months, witness some hustle in terms of brand activations with films.
Coming to categories, FMCG, Apparel and E-commerce are most active in in-film integrations and co-branded associations. Among these three, FMCG tops the brand integration charts. From 2015 to 2017, there was at least one co-branded campaign for FMCG every month. There have been around 13 brands active in this category across genres and films.
A film's marketing budget is usually 10 to 15 percent of the film’s production budget. In recent years, a popular strategy has been to ‘go big,’ with the hope of marketing money paying off in ticket sales on release weekend.
The average split of the promotion budget pie has been lower on print (10-15%) and higher on TV (45-50%). Digital is getting increasingly important (10-15%) while activation is steady (25-30%)
In 2017, the number of celebrity engagements was 1660. The number of brands endorsed by top female celebrities saw 50 per cent growth between 2007-2015. In 2017 there were more than 100 brand endorsements by top female celebrities.
In 2017, the categories that prefer endorsers was led by Apparel and followed by Personal Care, Mobile, Beverage and Jewelry at the fifth spot.
Shah Rukh Khan and MS Dhoni were consistently in the top endorsers' list until last year while Virat Kohli led the brand endorser list in 2017. Deepika Padukone had the highest number of brand endorsements for women at number three overall in 2017 making her the first woman to be in the ‘top three’ of this list for the first time.
Power of merchandising
The report mentioned the top Global Licensors (which include non-film brands too) reported total retail sales of Rs 1,751,200 crore worldwide in 2017. Even though India’s share in the global licensing market is 5-7per cent, its days ahead look bright. Industry sources predict India’s licensing growth at 7.4%, which is higher than the growth in USA, Canada and UK combined.
In 2017, ‘Bahubali 2’ became the first South Indian film that redefined film licensing and became a path-breaker in exploiting a franchise. It generated a three-part book series, an animated series, a graphic novel series, mobile games, apparel, stationery, mobile accessories, confectionery and toys.
Who are the players in the license game? Green Gold for instance – in just a few years of existence it has grown to a multi-million dollar licensing and content hub. It has under its wing some of the biggest intellectual properties (IPs) such as ‘Chhota Bheem’, ‘Mighty Raju’ and ‘Krishna-Balram’ and has grown nearly 200% YOY in the licensing and merchandising vertical alone. Other significant players in the market that represent international and Indian IPs are Disney, Dream Theatre, Viacom, Bradford Licensing, AI Licensing and Sony. One of the top studios, YRF, now has a dedicated licensing vertical YRFL (Yash Raj Films Licensing) and they re-sold the magic of DDLJ on its 1,000-week celebration through commemorative merchandise. But overall Hollywood properties dominate the licensing market.
A Mumbai based agency that had the "master license" of the Bahubali franchise across the globe inked a deal in 2016 with HBO for merchandise rights of Game of Thrones. It is eyeing no less than ₹ 230 Cr in retail sales in India from the GoT merchandise across categories.
The Power of Social Media
As the number of social platforms increases and the content creation ecosystem explodes, the role of social media in content discovery will become pivotal and thus, it will play an even more critical role in promotional investment. TV, film and event sponsorships will be impacted positively as brands will be able to measure and monitor the returns on them much better. The social media influence of stars will continue to grow and their health will become critical to the saleability of stars.
The six Cs that define the marketing mix of digital film promotions:
Consumer: The king is the Youtuber or Facebooker who spends valuable data to stream a film’s asset. Activating fan clubs and influencers and countering negative comments is the new routine
Content: If the consumer is king, content is emperor. Stirring up the various assets of a film and laying them on a calendar is an unwritten rule.
Category: Generating buzz and conversations not only around the film, but around its subject, actors, characters and key talking point is critical.
Conversations: The chatter that matters. The comments, reactions, anticipation, talk about competition is all evaluated. Two-way conversations > one-sided communication.
Conversions: Because eventually, business matters. Using digital tools to drive the online ‘conversations’ to Box Office ‘conversions’ is the goal behind every campaign.
Culture: Let’s not rule out that for many biggies, external cultural factors such as the political climate and current affairs trends affect promotion.
Commenting on this report, Vinit Karnik, Business Head - ESP Properties, said, “The film entertainment business is an integral part of India’s marketing landscape and drives revenue for film production and exhibition. Traditional film studios and production houses now increasingly rely on advertising and digital media interaction, coupled with research, data analytics and innovation to market movies. At ESP Properties, we bring our client brands and movie marketing together to engage an audience that is spoilt for choice with 1000 movies released every year. Targeted marketing to the consumer has, therefore, become critical and this report will give brands, and film producers some insights into movie marketing in a media landscape that is so disruptive.”
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