Feature | The man with the 'golden touch' - Brand SRK!

India, the largest film producing country in the world has evolved through decades. From set-bound films to outdoor shoots, from the 'oh so artificial' song and dance to well thought song filming! Hindi films, over the years have transformed the way they are made, presented and promoted. If any die-heart 'Bollywood fan' would observe, this transition is seen not only in the narrative, but technology as well. With these two crucial aspects continually scaling the demand-supply list upward, spends have also reached sky - high limits. Spends on film promotions and publicity have taken a new in this decade where every film maker feels is mandatory to be present everywhere, almost everywhere. On television, radio, print, on local malls and streets, everywhere.

Latest Bollywood hits like Aarakshan, Zindagi Naa Mile Dobara, Singham and Bodygaurd were marketed in various forms like domestic road trips to appearances on television reality shows. From contest winners accompanying the actors on promotions to numerous brand tie-up's. But one man who seems to take the marketing and promotion a notch higher, proving that be it FMCG market, or automobiles, youth, kids or women, he is the one who with his charismatic personality and charm is able to attract and connect with the audiences. Adgully takes a look at how this Bollywood actor and producer, is all set to change the promotions and marketing scene in the coming years.

He is a man, who has probably every kind of brand under his 'golden shadow'. You name it, he has it. With this persona, great fan following and the way people trust in him, he has become the obvious choice for brands. To name a few brands he's associated with are- HP,Belmonte,Pepsi, Hyundai, ITC's Sunfeast, Tag Heuer, Dish TV, Bagpiper Whisky, Top Ramen Curry Smoodles, Mayur Suitings Shirtings, Videocon, Airtel, Nokia, Lux, Himani Navratna Oil, Himani Sonachandi Chyawanprash, Linc Pen, Belmonte, Nerolac paints,Pepsodent,D Décor furnishing brand, Emami Fair and Handsome, and Compaq Presario and the list seem endless. No points for guessing, it has to be Shah Rukh Khan!

Call him "Baadshah" or "King Khan", with a Master's degree in Mass Communication at his perusal, Shah Rukh definitely knows how to attract, connect, and market not only himself, but everything under the sun. He promotes products and services from a number of categories from cars, soap, cold drinks mobiles, to shampoo, eatables, watches, banks, clothes and many more, with equal ease and charm.

With already such a strong brand portfolio at his credit, SRK, as he is fondly called, is all set to take marketing and film promotions a level higher with his next film - Ra.One. His dream project as he calls it, the film Ra.One was first presented to the audience through front page advertisements of a leading daily at the start of 2011. The promotions for this Red Cillies Production kicked off with 10 and 30 seconds teaser at the cricket World Cup semi - final, 2011. The film is slated for an October release, but began promotions about 7 - 8 months before hand, creating curiosity and a record of sorts in its own way.

Ra.One has marked about 40 crores as its marketing budget, with about 12 - 15 crore dedicated to promotions and advertising. ShahRukh has already began his journey of brand association for Ra.One. The star has associated with brands like, Western Union, Youtube, Gitanjali Jewelers among others. Western Union's association recognizes the symbolism behind the movie, anchored to a superhero called G.one, a character that signifies heroic love and commitment to his family in a world of good and evil. On the other hand, Gitanjali Group announced the superstar as its new brand ambassador. This new association highlights the all-encompassing core value of the Group ' Trust Forever and the confidence that consumers have in the Gitanjali name. With a career spanning a little over two decades, ShahRukh has definitely won the trust and confidence of millions of people across the world and today his name is associated with values such as romance, trust and loyalty.

Setting new standards for the use of digital media for promotion of Indian films, the King of Bollywood launched a custom built movie channel on the world"s leading online video platform YouTube for Ra.One. Khan's production company, together with the YouTube team also released a thrilling viral promo for the upcoming film. The movie channel on YouTube will offer users a one-stop destination for all promotional video content and special extras for Ra.One.

Along with these, the star is also planning tie-ups' with several Formula One teams to sport Ra.One logos at the upcoming Noida Grand Prix and also in talks with McDonalds for toys. Red Chillies Productions will soon be launching G.One store on the film's official website, which will be selling merchandises related to the film. Products include pencil box, piggy banks, lunch box, notebooks, limited edition toys, sippers etc. SRK has already tied up with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe to create a PlayStation game, and Indiagames to develop social game and digital comics on mobile platforms. The storyline for these has been developed by the star himself. Luxury bike Ducati, apparel brand Tommy Hilfiger, Videocon, Tag Heur, and Volkswagen AG, among others, have already signed up for RA.One and several others are in talks.

With internationally acclaimed R&B singer on board, releases in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu in 2D and 3D formats, with over 3500 VFX shots, ShahRukh Khan's plan to be in people's eye for long time, seems to take a new meaning. It's for brands and its consumers to wait and understand how these enormous associations and tie-ups work for them. The current status does seem bright and glowing, but as every film has a short shelf-life, the future of these associations is unclear.

Trough Ra.One, companies seem to take 'brand SRK' left, right and center, quite literally! Though undisclosed, brands riding on ShahRukh have a lot on stake, but at the same time are expecting good response to the film. Its only time, which will give the verdict of whether, the man with the golden touch has brought in something for the companies or made all efforts go in vain. | By Ankita Tanna [ankita(at)adgully.com]

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