‘Chennai Express’ has released. Its promotion is now in the last leg. Over the past one month, Shah Rukh Khan’s face must have been plastered everywhere. Be it on television, or on billboards, there was no way one could avoid Shah Rukh Khan and ‘Chennai Express’.
Beside appearing on various TV shows, the film’s producers have also tied in various brands, be it a paint brand like Nerolac, or a jeans brand like Lawman Pg3, or even a TV channel like Aaj Tak! But do these brand associations add any value to the film? Is it advantageous to the brands itself? BusinessOfCinema takes a look.
Shah Rukh Khan has had a long relationship with Nerolac. Therefore, it’s not a surprise seeing him get invested again with ‘Chennai Express’. While the ad features a few scenes from the film to the tune of ‘Titli’, Shah Rukh refers to the Umbrella ad which is now famous. The ad does not have any direct relation to the movie, but it sure could reap some benefits by riding on the shoulders of ‘Chennai Express’.
Nokia Lumia has come out with an ad in association with the film. But this branding went ahead and is a little different from the rest. (Slight spoilers ahead.) Within the film, towards the beginning, goons take Shah Rukh Khan’s phone and throw it off the train. Shah Rukh Khan then shouts (not verbatim) “Mera Nokia Lumia! Rs 35000 mein khareedi thi!” Then after a goon gives him a good stare, Shah Rukh Khan says, “Okay, Rs 34, 249 mein khareedi thi.” It’s shameless product placement and takes a viewer out of the movie, but Nokia Lumia got a huge mention within a film that has already made Rs 100 crores and is being watched by that many more people by the day. Nokia Lumia surely will benefit, even if the movie may get flak for it.
Western Union tied up with ‘Chennai Express’ to launch an offer where people could have a chance at winning money. Tying it in clearly with the theme of the movie – journey and the people you meet along the way – Western Union also cashed in on the release date of the film by unleashing the offer on the day of Eid. Clearly a limited offer, this could only benefit both the players.
Best Rice had to push forward its theme of being the “best match” when it comes to food. They did that by talking about Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone’s pair in the film and how they are a perfect match. A nice cross-brand pairing may just work out well for Best Rice.
ASUS unveiled its Transformer Book TX300 at the music launch of ‘Chennai Express’. While Apratim Sharma, Country Product Manager, ASUS India, stated that the Transformer Book TX300 was “integrated, intuitive and sustainable”, there was no direct connection to the tie-up with ‘Chennai Express’. If the product succeeds in the market, it will all be due to its own specs and technology rather than its connection to the film.
Lawman Pg3 cut scenes from ‘Chennai Express’ to the rhythm of their usual advertisements. Fast cuts, sweeping shots! They concentrated on scenes which had Shah Rukh Khan wearing jeans in the film. At the same time, they interspersed those scenes with shots from their own ads, of models wearing the Lawman Pg3 brand. A direct connection like this will definitely improve its sales, at least among the Shah Rukh Khan fandom.
Aaj Tak has so far come out with 3 advertisements to promote their show ‘Mudda Express’. While ‘Mudda Express’ talks about raising your voice and doing something to bring about a change, it was a theme that wasn’t intrinsic to ‘Chennai Express’. So they smartly got Shah Rukh Khan to play out scenarios in trains where the actor provides solutions to problems instead of adjusting. These black and white ads give an old-world feel to the ad, but the timely nature of these ads – concentrating on women harassment and cleanliness – voiced by a star of such stature, gives Aaj Tak a huge push. The news channel and Shah Rukh Khan can only gain!