MUMBAI: The phenomenon of in-film advertising is helping to build
brands and proving to be a revenue-spinner for several ad agencies.
Film placements are currently raking in anything between Rs 5,00,000
to Rs 50 million for the producers.
Leo Entertainment has bagged new films such as Pooja Bhatt's Jism,
BR Chopra's Baghban, new films of producers such as Shahrukh
Khan, Ramgopal Varma, NR Paschisia and Ramesh Sippy. Leo Entertainment
is already an independent profit-centre due to the revenues obtained
from films such as Kaante, Raju Chacha and Yeh
Kya Ho Raha Hai where it leveraged brands such as Coke, Thums
Up, Maaza, Provogue, Castrol, Tata Tea and Blowplast.
For the forthcoming release Jism, Leo Entertainment has
developed an innovative association with Zingaro, a liquor brand.
In fact, Leo brokered a Thums Up Taste the Thunder deal for the
film Kaante and won an award for being one of the Top 10
product placements of 2002.
"There is an ardent need for producers to involve a marketing
and communication consultant such as Leo Entertainment simply because
we are the 'creative suits' who can marry showbiz with statistics.
With a backing of Rs 100-crore that the Leo Burnett brands command,
we can leverage various opportunities for enhancing the visibility
of brands," adds Leo Entertainment head Sanjay Bhutiani who
has worked with several ad agencies and worked with brands such
as Bajaj auto, Kelloggs, Videocon, Balsara and Hallmark. Through
his own initiative, Bhutiani evolved a business model on film marketing
during the process of handling the promotions of the first feature
film handled by the agency - Raju Chacha.
Advantages of film placements:
* Big stars at a fraction of the costs
* Films transcend geography, class and culture barriers
* Clutter-free environment
* Not subject to surfing, zipping or muting (unlike in TV and other
* Catches people in a receptive mood
* revived and revisited several times as a film's length always
* Target specific
* Opportunities for cross-promotions
Since February 2002, Leo Entertainment, a division of Leo Burnett
India, has been providing an entire gamut of services such as marketing
strategies; in-film placements; creative campaign; outdoor, print,
online advertising; ground promotions and contests.
The following are the excerpts from Bhutiani's presentation:
In the US, the entertainment pie is US$480 billion and this mammoth
spending has resulted in the mushrooming of megaplexes and gigaplexes.
The consumers spend an entire day in these complexes which include
theatres, casinos, screens, hotels, restaurants, bars and night
clubs. The entertainment industry in India is estimated at Rs 75
billion and slated to increase to Rs 250 billion by 2005.
The new trends in Bollywood include corporatisation; multinational
studios localising their content; enhanced production values due
to higher production costs; Bollywood films making an impact on
the international arena; increased investments in promotions and
marketing entertainment properties; and more brands jumping onto
the entertainment bandwagon.
Brands and films:
However, there is evidence of shortened attention spans and a greater
effort to break through the clutter of multitudinous brands and
media vehicles. The best way to deliver the message is to catch
the customer off-guard when the rational defences are down. The
best way to do so is to use the emotional gate rather than the rational
gate. The rational gate examines the advantages, benefits, features
and seeks value for money; the emotional gate is all about trust,
love, identification and belief. It has been noticed that films
operate at the emotional level. These aspects have been leveraged
by brands such as Coke, Pepsi, Lux, Airtel, Hyundai, Bagpiper, Lux
wherein movies and brands flash identical messages at their target
There is a need to examine synergies between the brands and films.
The successful integration of product placement within the film's
storyline has a long history - the first example being the yellow
Rajdhoot bike used in Raj Kapoor's Bobby. Hollywood also
leveraged brands such as BMW(Bond movies), Jaguar, Ford, Ray Ban
(Tom Cruise in Risky Business and Mission Impossible),
Starbucks coffee, AOL, AT &T.
Films are a different medium and one bad placement can do more
damage than 10 good placements. Artistic integrity is crucial for
successful brand placements and the operation has to be woven into
the script. Sometimes, unreasonable clients demand more footage
although research has shown that a 2-minute clip can effectively
deliver a message in a credible manner. The placement should be
a natural fit and shouldn't be contrived and unnatural.Each effective
tie-up between a brand and a film involves hectic negotiations of
around 3-6 months.
There is no fixed formula but the factors that are taken into consideration
during the negotiation stage include: cast and credits; size of
the projects and the producers; timing of the release; brand impact;
number of screens during release and post-release phase; and possibilities
of brand associations through contests and promotions. Depending
on the content of the film and its story line, the agency can sketch
a profile of viewers who would flock to see the movie. Then the
agency approaches all those brands who could appeal to the targetted
viewers. This is followed by a 360 degrees marketing plan for cross-promotions
during the various stages of a film's release.
TV personalities -
good option for advertisers
are illusory, elusive and magical
- Star India COO Sameer Nair
need specialised marcom agencies
Radio provides unique
options to advertisers
Need a hit - Its all about
marketing and communication