Films that aced the art of brand association in 2018

From Veere Di Wedding and Sanju to Zero and Race, brands played a major role in many films this year

e4m by Neethu Mohan
Updated: Dec 31, 2018 9:02 AM

The Indian film industry is the largest producer of movies in the world with more than 1000 releases every year. From big budget magnum opuses to regional cinemas with minimal budgets, the industry has a variety to offer. A report by India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) states that the revenues earned by the Indian film industry in 2018 would reach Rs 165.7 billion (US$ 2.56 billion) and are expected to further grow at a CAGR 4.98 percentage during 2018-2020. 

Brand Partnerships and Marketing

Brand partnerships and in-film advertising have come to be an integral part of the film industry.

According to a report by GroupM, the marketing budgets for films have grown from 5-6 per cent of the production budget to 10-15 per cent, which is closer to the global average. As many as 20 per cent of the films now have association with brands and these brands share a part of the marketing budget. The report further elaborates that there is close to 56 hours of entertainment promotion films playing cumulatively through the day across channels. The producers work closely with agency partners that help them achieve their marketing objectives efficiently.

2018 witnessed few interesting movie-brand partnerships. Bollywood film Veere Di Wedding was criticised for having more product placements than content. The Kareena Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor-starrer had a number of brand associations. Air India, Amul, HSBC, Bharat Matrimony, Uber, Symbiosis, Lux, Apple, Tata Tigor, Tumi, Mydala, and Videocon etc were associated with the movie.

Another major hit from Bollywood Sanju also tied up with few brands. Redmi Note 5, Saregama Caravaan, etc are few of them.

The biggest hit of 2018, 2.0 had Hero Honda, ExxonMobil Lubricants, Lalithaa Jewellery associated with the movie.

Shah Rukh Khan’s Zero has become the first Bollywood film to utilise Amazon Alexa, develop a Snapchat filter, and even create a Whatsapp sticker pack. Zero also had brand tie-ups with PVR Cinemas and INOX Leisure for customised food and beverage packs. With Carnival Cinemas, the filmmakers have created Artificial Reality booths. Some of the other brand partners of the film are matchmaking website, food brand Bikaji and fashion brand Doodlers. 

Another major hit from Rajinkanth, Kaala partnered with Cadbury 5 star and Nippon Paint.

Blackberry, Baba Elaichi, CP Plus, and Club Mahindra were the official brand partners for Salman Khan’s Race 3. 

The PadMan challenge used by Akshay Kumar starrer PadMan movie created quite a buzz in the industry. In the #padmanchallenge, one had to click a photograph with sanitary pad and upload the photo onto the social media sites. Bollywood stars like Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Anil Kapoor etc accepted the challenge.

Malayalam movie Odiyan also used different marketing strategy to promote the movie. The official marketing campaign of the film began in October 2018 by unveiling a life-size statue of Odiyan Manikyan (the hero role played by Mohanlal) at PVR Cinemas in Lulu Mall, Kochi. The team also invited entries from public for a video making contest conceptualised on Odiyan, with prize money ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh for the finalists. A mobile application named Odiyan was also released. Aashirvad Cinemas partnered with telecommunications service provider Bharti Airtel for merchandising Odiyan branded sim cards and would also conduct other offers and contests through various Airtel services, including free access to behind-the-scenes in Airtel TV application.  

Business This Year

As per the data by, the domestic theatrical revenue of the film industry in India for the financial year 2018 is estimated to be Rs 108.9 billion. The broadcast rights revenue of Indian films is estimated to be Rs 16.1 billion and the overseas theatrical rights revenue is Rs 14.8 billion, says the website. According to reports, the overseas theatrical films screening in India were forecasted to generate a revenue of Rs 24.3 billion in the year 2023.

The report by IBEF predicts that the Indian film industry is expected to grow at a rate of 11.9 per cent by 2020. The report also adds that by 2019, cinema exhibition industry in India is expected to have over 3,000 multiplex screens. The factor that played major role in the growth of Indian Film industry is digitalisation. According to reports, increasing share of Hollywood content in the Indian box office and 3D cinema are driving the growth of digital screens in the country. Animation and VFX industry is expected to reach Rs 80 billion (US$ 1.24 billion) in 2018.

Bollywood vs Regional Cinema

2018 witnessed the release of few magnum opuses which raked in crores at the box office. At the same time, 2018 also witnessed regional cinemas from Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu languages gaining popularity at pan-India level and collecting crores at the box office. When high budget movies with huge hype crashed at box office, few movies became sleeper hits in the year 2018.

From Padmavat to Zero, Bollywood had a huge number of movie releases this year. Much-awaited super star movies likes Thugs of Hindostan and Zero couldn’t attain the expected success. But, small- budget movies like Badhai Ho and Andhadhun became huge hits of 2018.

According to reports, Ram Charan-starrer Telugu movie Rangasthalam raked in more than Rs 200 crores at the box office.

The year also witnessed Rajinikanth’s two movie releases-- Kaala, and 2.0. The latter which was made at a budget of Rs 543 crores has already collected more than Rs 800 crore and is going steady. The satellite rights of 2.0 were bagged by Zee Network for a whopping Rs 110 crore. When a magnum opus like 2.0 is garnering success in Tamil film industry, low-key movies like Pariyerum, Raatsasan, Vada Chennai are also marking their space with the strong script and content.

Malayalam movie industry, which produces movies with lower budgets compared to other film industries, is also in the process of increasing budget for their movies. Kayamakulam Kochunni starring Nivin Pauly and Mohanlal was produced at a budget of Rs 45 crore and grossed Rs 100 crore, becoming the second Malayalam film to attain the feat. As per media reports, the global digital rights of the movie, including the music rights, have been bagged by Eros International. The South Indian language versions of the movie fetched around Rs 25 crore.  Another Mohanlal-starrer movie Odiyan, which was produced at a budget of Rs 50 crores, has already bagged more than Rs 80 crore at the box office.

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