Gully Boy popularizes more than 20 brands in hip hop style

Brands such as Ola, Durex, Dairy Milk Silk, Zomato, Sunsilk, Netflix and even Mumbai Police, have all been using ‘Gully Boy’ memes to entertain the audience

Gully Boy

Remember the Rajdoot GTS 175 from the 70s? Yes, it is the same bike that was nicknamed Bobby. It has been close to 5 decades now but the Rajdoot GTS175 is still sometimes remembered as the "Bobby bike" from Rishi Kapoor’s popular 1973 film Bobby. That’s the power of Bollywood in India. The romance between Bollywood films and brands have only grown stronger over the years and director Zoya Akhtar has made sure she makes the most of it with her film Gully Boy. This new Bollywood release starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt has taken in-film brand placements and brand integrations to newer heights making it a case study for a mutually beneficial proposition for brands as well as films to follow.

Some prominent in-film brand placements have been done by brands such as true Caller, JBL, Adidas and Social Offline. The brands have been subtly blended with the film plot, but also smartly enough to make them stand out. True Caller, for instance, is used by Alia Bhatt to find out who was texting her boyfriend Ranveer Singh. Protagonist Ranveer Singh on the other hand who plays the role of an upcoming rapper from Mumbai’s ghetto area in a scene is overwhelmed with the experience of shooting his first music video and giving him the feel of how professional music is recorded with premium speaker brand JBL. The new star of rap from Mumbai in the course of the film also receives a gift of the premium active wear shoe brands Adidas. Lastly, playing a very important part of the film is the concert where Singh gets his big break, which takes place in the Social Offline Café.

However, it is not just in film promotions. From brands like Ola and Durex to Dairy Milk Silk and Sunsilk, from Zomato to Netflix and even Mumbai Police, all have been using ‘Gully Boy’ memes to entertain the audience.

“The brands have multiple effects on the popularity of the film. While the film does its promotion, each of the brands they have associated themselves with also actively promotes the film in their advertisements across media be it print, outdoors, television or digital. This adds up to the buzz being created around the film and in a situation like this, both the brand and the film gain from the situation leveraging each other’s popularity,” said brand expert Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults.

Some of the brands who ran campaigns and offers around the film included JBL, Social Offline, and Ola. While SocialOffline has painted Gully Boy graffiti's across 10 of their outlets in India to bring about the rap battle scenes from the movie shot at Todi Mill Social and also designed a special Gully Boy, speaker brand JBL has started a contest where winners stand a chance to meet the cast of the film on buying their speakers.

The film that has its own app allows users to record their rap and send in entries to win prizes also has a partnership with Ola. Rap recorded on board an Ola cab and uploaded on Ola’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page also stand a chance to win prizes.

Breaking it down further film trade analyst Atul Mohan said, “Depending on the air time given to the brands a certain amount of charge is agreed upon. All of these brand integrations put together, bring down the production cost by a certain percentage. The concept is an old one. In recent times, Koi Mil Gaya is a film that used brand integrations a lot with getting Nescafe, Pepsi, Bournvita and other brands on board. But Gully Boy has used the tool a lot more effectively and aggressively. This trend will only pick up more from here,”

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