From Tiger biscuits to tattoos and cement to debit cards, chances are that one won’t miss out on seeing actor Prabhas in the getup of a warrior at various retail touchpoints. And for the die-hard fans, there is even a chance of clicking a selfie with the ‘Baahubali’, as the makers of the epic fantasy-mythological film are ready to cash in on the success of the first installment by associating with almost every possible brand for the sequel.
With Baahubali 2: The Conclusion nearing its release date of April 28, the film has already tied up with brands across categories, including Nestlé (Munch), Britannia (Milk Bikis and Tiger), Lux, Inox, Amrapali Jewels, Orient Cement, McDonald’s, Oppo and Astral Pipes, while deals with ICICI Bank and Airtel are in final stages (at the time of filing of this report).
Shobu Yarlagadda, CEO of Arka MediaWorks, the production house of Baahubali 2, states, “Brands will get access to our audiovisuals, pictures and opportunities to enable consumers to meet and greet with the stars. In return, we will have the brand mention in the credits of the film.” Given the genre of the movie, in-film placements can be a challenge and thus, only Amrapali Jewels are part of the visual narrative, which has designed custom-made jewellery for the film.
Among other associations, Nestlé has launched five new limited edition Munch Baahubali packs across the country with free Baahubali phone stickers, along with a television campaign. Britannia, meanwhile, has associated with the film for its biscuit brands. Around 150 million Tiger and Milk Bikis packs will be co-branded with Baahubali merchandise and distributed across 1.2 million outlets.
While Tiger has a pan-India approach to attract kids through merchandise and tattoos being gifted along with the pack, Milk Bikis has focussed on bringing alive the warrior for children in South India with a special ‘Meet & Greet Baahubali’ contest running for a month-and-a-half. Britannia has also created co-branded TVCs featuring Prabhas and is organising on-ground trade activations to highlight the association.
Ali Harris Shere, VP — marketing,
Britannia Industries says, “We are putting significant investments behind promoting the association and this will be the primary media plan for both brands this quarter. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion resonates perfectly with the personalities of both Tiger and Milk Bikis, which are targeted towards kids across India.”
Meanwhile, McDonald’s will dole out prizes with a Maharaja Mac Meal which include movie tickets, merchandise and a chance to meet lead actor Prabhas across its outlets in West and South regions. Kedar Teny, director, marketing, McDonald’s India (West and South) elaborates, “To us, it is a natural extension of the market leadership that both our defining burger, the Maharaja Mac and the movie, enjoy. We also took this collaboration internally to our employees, where eight restaurant crew members walked the ramp and unveiled the Baahubali merchandise at the recent Bollywoo.ooo fashion event.”
Although details of the deal are being worked out, ICICI Bank will enable customers to opt for a
co-branded debit card.
Airtel is planning to launch special data packs and Hello Tunes around the movie. Mobile manufacturer Oppo is creating co-branded TVCs and will leverage its positioning as the selfie expert. Meanwhile, Orient Cement and Astral Pipes are using the trailer content for their TVCs with taglines matching the film’s values. Soap brand Lux will be using shots of the female lead from the film Anushka Shetty to create a TVC. Inox, the multiplex partner of the film, has created special Baahubali zones at multiple venues across the country that house a photo booth, and other touchpoints also acting as a point of sale for the film’s graphic novels, merchandise and other trans-media content.
According to Yarlagadda, brands will end up spending anything between `20-25 crore on various advertising and promotional activities, which will help the film in generating buzz. Brand associations will not add any significant financial upside to the film’s topline, though. The total cost of production of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion is about `250 crore, while Arka MediaWorks is spending `10-15 crore on advertising and promoting of the Hindi version of the film.Besides brand partnerships, the film makers also have a trans-media plan in place to help in expanding the franchise in the long-term, as brand partnerships technically last only for three to six months at the most.
While graphic novels have been released by Graphic India, Arka MediaWorks has also tied up with multiple merchandising partners like Status Quo for apparel; Paintcollar, Artangle and the Entertainment Store for novelty and apparel; Hoozinc for various merchandise from apparel to mobile accessories; Simba and Little Hub for figurines and weapons; and Macmerise for VR glasses and phone covers.
In addition, mobile games will be rolled out closer to the release date and the production house has also inked a deal with OTT player Amazon Prime Video to launch two seasons of animated series The Lost Legends based on the movie.Baahubali 2: The Conclusion will release in three languages including Telugu, Tamil and Hindi with Dharma Productions presenting the Hindi version of the film. Interestingly, the first installment Baahubali: The Beginning, had no brand associations to boast of.