Spider-Man 3 weaves brand web in India


    MUMBAI: Spider-Man 3 is likely to be a far more enterprising bet than its prequels and Sony Pictures Releasing of India is estimating the film to gross Rs 600 million (Rs 60 crore) at the box office with its 600 prints release in five Indian languages. Now, when everything is bigger than ever before, so are the brand associations and media spends.


    In a ‘no cash’ deal with over eight brands, Sony has roped in a Rs 100 million (Rs 10 crore) media spend, which again, is the highest ever for any of its India releases. Consequently, the Sony Group of Companies, which includes Sony TV, Sony Electronics, Sony Ericsson and Sony Home Entertainment are looking at cashing in big time on the buzz around the film.


    Across all Sony TV channels, on-air contests will be held and the film’s making will be shown. Some integrated programming is also being worked upon currently. Like last time, Spider-Man will jig around the channel logo too.


    Sony Pictures Releasing of India marketing head Harshavardhan Gangurde informs that Sony Electronics has planned a thematic campaign across Sony Hubs and also outdoor. Moreover, in order to promote their Cyber Shot range during the ongoing vacation period, an audio visual spot will be shown across theatres. The anti blur feature of the camera with a tag line of ‘Shake It! Move It! Swing It!’ will be symbolised by Spider-Man clippings from the film.


    “Sony Ericsson has chalked out a co-branded print campaign across 15 cities, to promote its special edition Spider-Man 3 handsets, which will be embedded with Spider-Man screen savers and wallpapers,” says Gangurde.


    Sony Home Entertainment is releasing a special DVD pack titled Spider-Man 2.1, which will include bonus features of director’s commentary, visual effects shots and deleted scenes, all of which lasts for well above an hour, along with the Spider-Man 2 DVD (which is already available in the market).


    Brand associations outside Sony’s sphere include HDFC standard life insurance, Hutch, Yamaha, Horlicks, Baskin Robbins, Rediff.com, Travelguru.com and Diptrix, which have worked towards TV ads, print and outdoor hoardings, merchandising, POP and special packaging.


    HDFC Standard Life Insurance’s ‘Sar Utha Ke Jiyo’ brand message will be communicated through clippings of Spider-Man. In a contest-led co-branded campaign, the winners will be given tickets to the film. “To have a superhero like Spider-Man to be associated with a financial sector organisation like HDFC will be clutter breaking,” remarks P9 Integrated CEO Navin Shah.      


    Spider-Man‘s traits of speed, agility and edginess will be communicated through the Yamaha TVC too.


    Horlicks is boasting of a double digit growth with their Spider-Man association, claims Horlicks brand manager Pooja Sardana. The brand has planned a packaging and merchandise led promotion wherein free Spider-Man 3 shakers are being given since 8 April 2007.


    Baskin Robbins, which has been lying low for some time, is now revamping with the Spider-Man association. Thematic ice-creams named after Spider-Man and other characters, free Spider-Man comics, branding within outlets and across a few multiplexes is being worked upon towards this association. Baskin Robbins Asia head Pankaj Chaturvedi says, “We are launching new flavours which are specific to Spider-Man. We will be promoting them through co-branded promotions with Spider-Man. These ads will be aired mostly in 60 multiplexes across the country. Our target is mostly kids and young adults since the movie also has a similar taget audience.”


    General Mills’ Diptrix – a cookie brand, will bake Spider-Man and web shaped cookies and also give away masks and squirters on purchase of their combo pack.


    In the tie-up with cell phone network operator Hutch, the subscribers can download ring tones, games and screensavers.


    Web portal Rediff.com will also roll out a co-branded TVC early next week, highlighting their unlimited storage capacity. The key connect would be the concept of unlimited powers of both Spider-Man 3 and Rediff.


    Travelguru.com’s association focuses on their positioning; ‘Spider-Man reaches everywhere quickly – Travelguru.com also helps you reach your destinations quickly with the cheapest possible fare’. These ads will be seen across TV, web space and multiplexes.  


    While each of these brand associations with Spider-Man would surely be clutter breaking within the brands product category, wouldn’t so much of Spider-Man also create clutter in some way? Navin Shah points out, “Spider-Man is a huge property that can well accommodate many brands, with each brand communication being uniquely crafted. Moreover, each product category is uniquely different. If World Cup could accommodate 40 brands, Casino Royale could accommodate close to 20 brands universally; then Spider-Man can well accommodate eight to 10 brands.”


    “Once these brand campaigns start rolling this weekend on, we are certain many other brands will come forward to pitch for an association, and we still have the capacity to accommodate them in the marketing campaign,” concludes Shah.   


    Officials from Sony Erriscon inform that close to 150,000 units comprising four Sony Erricson handset models are being distributed nationally. They include K310, K510, Z550 and Z530. These phones will be pre-loaded with one screen saver, three wall papers and a two and a half minute video clip from Spider-Man 3.