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Bollywood goes retail

They aren’t just competing at the box office. Marketers of Om Shanti Om and Saawariya, two Bollywood films slated for release on November 9, are pouring big bucks as they seek to create a din in the market place.

Pallavi Srivastava | Print Edition: Nov 18, 2007

They aren’t just competing at the box office. Marketers of Om Shanti Om and Saawariya, two Bollywood films slated for release on November 9, are pouring big bucks as they seek to create a din in the market place.

Whilst the spend on branding and promotional activities for Om Shanti is pegged at Rs 15-18 crore, Saawariya, too, is splurging on such activity. In India most producers won’t spend more than 10 per cent of the movie budget on marketing and promotions.

We have spent more than 15 per cent of the total cost of making the movie on such activities,” says Harsha Gangurde, Head Marketing, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) Films India, the producer of Saawariya. Apart from the Sony channels like Sony TV, Sony Pix and Set Max, the company has exclusive tie-ups with Channel V, Aaj Tak, CNN IBN and Big FM. “Instead of doing an exclusive promotion tie-up with a single channel, we have tied up with each of these networks for a strategic promotion.

So you will see us doing a music launch at one channel, with another we might be showcasing our ‘making of music’, while with the third channel you might get to see the interview of the stars,” explains Gangurde. With radio partner Big FM, the cast of the movie is also doing the rounds of the 38 cities in which the FM channel is present.

For merchandising, SPE Films India and Sanjay Leela Bhansali Films, in association with Future Group, have jointly come out with an exclusive line of film merchandising. Specially-created Saawariya merchandise will be available across categories such as clothing, home, bed, bath & linen, beauty accessories for women and male apparel; Future Group will also have merchandise ‘inspired’ by Saawariya, which will reflect the colour theme, tone, background, ambience and concepts of the movie.

Meantime, Madison Mates, which has the mandate for promoting Om Shanti, is going about the task a bit differently. While there are no exclusive tie-ups with any media channel for promotion, Madison has created different products for different channels and managed to connect with most of the big names hence.

Apart from a merchandising deal with Shoppers’ Stop (which involves almost 50-50 revenue sharing), the movie has also signed up with brands like Videocon, Nokia (which will be the mobile-phone maker’s first such tie-up in Bollywood), cosmetics company Maybelline (Deepika Padukone is the brand endorser), and SIA Jewelry. “These are just not brand associations but integrated with the film, and both for the brands and ourselves, the associations mean more than just publicity for us,” says Darshana Bhalla, CEO, Madison Mates.

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