Nov 14, 2008

Mktg - India;Dostana & In film brands

Abhilash Ojha

A cosmetics company and a travel portal vie for brand recall through Dostana

It’s a Rs 15-crore marketing blitzkrieg. And it shows. After all, Arun Nair, head of marketing at Dharma Productions, director-producer Karan Johar’s film company, has worked hard at branding his latest flick Dostana, starring John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra and Abhishek Bachchan. Releasing today, the film is clearly targeted at a younger audience. While there’s a separate web page on the film on Facebook, its ad on the social networking site is more interactive with audiences getting invited to create their own “gang” of friends and uploading their details and photographs.

“It’s clear that this film doesn’t target the 45-plus age group,” says Nair. The marketing of Dostana started getting planned a year before the release. Approximately 35 per cent of the marketing spend came from co-branding and in-film advertising. MTV, the film’s exclusive music partner, also kicked off its new division Celebrity Content, Acquisitions and Talent along with the release of the film.

Dostana’s in-film branding is clever. Besides weaving the story of Neha, a character in the film played by Priyanka Chopra, as a staff member of a fashion magazine, the story also encompasses the cosmetics brand Maybelline that is promoting Chopra’s look. So much so that there is a special ‘Dostana kit’ which essentially brings together the different makeup tools and colours that Chopra uses in the film. Besides Dostana cosmetics, the film’s outfits (worn by the stars, naturally) will also be available at Pantaloon’s 45 outlets all over India.

Travel portal is also associated with the film. The film is shot completely in Miami and viewers may have seen the promos of the film on television screens with a logo. In the promo, actors Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham implore viewers to log on to the website.

The film is being released with 700 prints, a number that Ranjan Singh, head of marketing, PVR Pictures, says, might go up after the first three days. “We are told that most brands have been integrated keeping the storyline of Dostana in mind,” Singh says. He adds that the film is all set to open to packed houses.

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