Marketers expecting big money from ‘Bharat’ & Brand Salman

Industry experts decode how Salman Khan’s mass appeal and his Eid movies prove to be a good deal for brands and market influencers alike

e4m by Tasmayee Laha Roy & Ruhail Amin
Updated: Aug 21, 2019 4:26 PM

All eyes are on the launch of Salman Khan's ‘Bharat’ and if predictions from film trade analysts are anything to go by, the Eid release is expected to be another blockbuster with a mass appeal. 

It is just not the producers who are looking to rake in the moolah, brands and market influencers too are also excited to tag along. 

From being partners for promotional initiatives to in-film branding, brands are trying out all formats to associate with ‘Bharat’. The craze, however, is being mostly driven by Brand Salman Khan.

But what do brands see in the star? We asked a few industry experts for an explanation.

“Salman Khan is among the few global faces of Bollywood with a mass appeal. He is known for massy hits while his movie releases on Eid have been strategically planned for the last few years and have always proved worthwhile. Bharat too is another mega movie that is up for release and we wish Salman along with the entire production crew another success story,” said Harkirat Singh, Managing Director, Woodland. Singh strongly supports in-film branding and Woodland has been heavily investing in the proposition for the many years now.

“Salman is a mass brand. He has proved himself in multiple profiles or characters and his macho looks are an added advantage that goes in-line with the profile of Woodland. We look forward to working with him,” Singh added.

On the movie's mass appeal, Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults, said, "All eyes are on the launch of 'Bharat'. It will be a mass movie with appeal to all age groups. Brands and market influencers are excited to tag along for advertisements and promotions. As last two quarters have been good for the cinema industry and the next push will come from from Bharat. The movie is expected to do well in single screens and multiplexes across segments."

Charminar, the flagship roofing solution brand from the house of HIL Ltd, has already announced its brand association with Salman Khan’s upcoming movie. But what could a roofing solution brand get out of a Bollywood film? Explaining the intent behind the association, Dhirup Roy Choudhary, MD & CEO, HIL said, “We strive to explore new and innovative opportunities to connect with our customers and take these virtues of our brand ahead. Salman Khan is Bollywood’s leading actor. He is as dependable on Box Office as our products. Through our association with ‘Bharat’, we hope to engage our customers, increase brand awareness and provide a fresh take to evolve the market for Charminar.”
Trade experts are confident about the Eid and Salman Khan combination proving to be a hit again.

“Salman Khan’s mass appeal commands connect with both single screen and multiplex audiences. The release of ‘Bharat’ on Eid is surely expected to pull audiences to the screen. The entertainment quotient of Salman Khan has proven to bond with the audience and conversion in terms of Box Office collection. On a festival, people normally go for their favourite superstar’s movie with family and friends and hence the occupancy is bound to be higher,” said Rajee M Shinde, President, Epic TV Network.

Brand experts also consider Salman a safe bet with his Eid releases. Saurabh Uboweja, international brand expert and CEO, Brands of Desire, said, “Bharat is the annual Salman Khan pilgrimage for his fans. There are no expectations or surprises in store. Almost all his movies over the years follow the ‘Hero’s Journey’, a common template of a broad category of tales that involves a hero who goes on an adventure and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home transformed. With so much experience, Salman is effortless in playing this template role. He is also intelligent not to divert away from it. Why change the recipe if your food is loved by all?”

Advertising experts, however, have a slightly different take on the matter. According to them, the star must be backed by good content too. “No doubt that Salman’s appeal guarantees a grand opening but for that to sustain it needs good content if not great. The audience of today is maturing (if not completely matured) and would need something beyond Salman too. Having said that, it still has a mass following which the brands would like to tag on as the chances of it cracking gold are quite high,” said Amit Wadhwa, President, Dentsu Impact.

Roma Balwani, Senior Advisor, Brand and Group Corporate Communications, Vedanta, opined, "Brand Salman has been an enigma for the masses! His persona has a fair share of humanism that appeals to the millennial audiences, and controversy contributes to his mass appeal as that fuels his celebrity stature. Bharat with an emotive title, with the right mix of patriotism, is potent and the Eid release of his film aptly titled Bharat just when the country is waiting with bated breath on the outcome of the polls! For the audience of yesteryears, Salman essaying the role of a man who has seen life from the time of Independence is intriguing. Enough masala for the ‘Being Human’ star to hit the box office with an Eid release!"

Film trade analyst Atul Mohan says, “The last two quarters have been good for the cinema industry, and the next push will come from ‘Bharat’. The movie is expected to do well in single screens and multiplexes across segments and should bring in nothing less than Rs 300 crore as Box Office collections. Ali Abbas Zafar and Salman have been a hit pair and have given Bollywood blockbuster hits like ‘Sultan’ and ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’. There is no doubt that the magic will work again. Salman here is playing everything from a romantic hero to an old man to a patriot giving the audience enough treat. With high occupancy at the theatres, Bharat will only add to the popularity of Brand Salman Khan.”

Vinod Bhanushali, President, Marketing, Media and Publishing, T-Series, said: “As producers of the film, we see Bharat smashing Salman Khan’s previous box office records. My prediction is that the film will cross Rs 400 crore and set a new benchmark in box office collections. As far as the perception of Brand Salman is concerned, it remains to be strong and Bharat is definitely going to prove that.”

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