MUMBAI: From soft-drinks, chips, clothing, footwear, video games, Bollywood never seems to have got enough promoting films through products or otherwise. The recent films like ‘Ra.One’, ‘Dabangg’, ‘Dabangg 2’, ‘Wake Up Sid’ and several others have followed the branding and merchandising route, which has yielded good results.
While films like ‘Dabangg’ and ‘Wake Up Sid’ have launched their own apparel collection, several other films have tied up with companies to print coffee mugs, toys and accessories. This new form of revenue generation, called merchandising and licensing is new to Bollywood, but it is fast becoming a trend, a resourceful one, to get back the costs of making the film, even before the film releases in a multiplex or theatre and even before the final verdict.
For a Shah Rukh Khan fan, it would have been a dream to wear the Classic Polo sweatshirt; he wore in ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’. The only problem was that, when ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ released, there was no such concept called as merchandising. The fan would, sadly have to wait for an auction, where the star would give out his apparel from the film to the highest bidder. Plus, there would be no guarantee, if the sweatshirt, would feature in the auction. And then there was the ‘Cool’ chain, which sold like hot cakes at railway stations, of substandard quality.
But as times changed, the trends also have changed. Today, practically every film associates itself and sets aside huge budgets for creating merchandise. These include, apparel as worn by the stars, accessories like belts, shoes and several others. The merchandise is of decent quality and one can choose from an array of choices available.
Another point also is, the merchandise campaign in most probabilities is successful only when the film ensures Box Office success. Who would like to buy and stock things of a FLOP film?
‘Ra.One’ is a classic example of merchandising and licensing gone wrong. The film had invested a whooping Rs 52 crores, for promotions and merchandise, but the film could not recover its cost in spite of the film being an average grosser.
But the biggest merchandising positive emerged in the film ‘Koi Mil Gaya.’ Rakesh Roshan’s tribute to Steven Spielberg’s ‘ET’ was well received and it led to a successful merchandising campaign. From t-shirts, school bags, to pencil boxes, ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ was there, everywhere. While that was for the kids, adults could grab Hrithik Roshan’s and Preity Zinta’s apparel. It was ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ which led to, what we call, as the evolution of ‘Brand Krrish’. Why ‘Krrish’ though?
Because it was ‘Krrish’ gowns and those black ‘Batman’ like marks which kids purchased in abundance, thus making the film immensely popular and making it a successful merchandising attempt in Bollywood.
The ‘Krrish’ brand, has since then evolved and as audiences gear up for Rakesh Roshan’s ‘Krrish 3’ starring Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Vivek Oberoi what comes as a huge boost for the unreleased film, is that Brand ‘Krrish’ has cracked a two-year deal with Dream Theatre, a Mumbai based brand licensing agency.
The merchandising would include digital activation, gaming and animation-related licensing. Additionally, this will also have ‘Kid Krrish’, a series of animated cartoon films released on Cartoon Network, while ‘Krish 3’ and its 3D version releases at cinema halls.
This is probably the first time, that four other small films on a similar theme is releasing with a big film. Dream Theatre, CEO and Founder, Jiggy George says, “The partnership and animation will allow us to extend the lifecycle of the ‘Krrish’ brand.”
This is the first time such an experiment is being done in India, he added.
With its earlier franchise ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ and ‘Krrish’ being immensely successful and with so much innovation in place, would brand ‘Krrish’ have a any reason to falter?
It will be interesting to see if such unique merchandising strategies would be seen for other big films as well. There’s much to look forward to.