Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom’s story is set to be told on the big screen with this Friday’s Viacom18 Motion Pictures release by the same name.
The movie has attracted a slew of brand associations, which experts say has given the film visibility worth Rs 20 crore.
Considering the movie has been made at a budget of Rs 15 crore (Rs 150 million) including, production, prints and advertising, the brand associations have helped the Priyanka Chopra-starrer gain traction in traditional and digital media.
The brands that have partnered with the movie include, Havmor, Mother Dairy, Usha International, Monte Carlo and ArtemisHospitals, among others.
The producers have also teamed up with media brands such as Ten Sports and India TV as part of the script or for promotional activities.
“A film such as Mary Kom transcends star power. It covers much ground and also touches the lives of people across demographics and interests. The film has garnered over 20 major brand associations. These include Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance, Mother Dairy, Iodex, Havmor Ice Cream, and Tata Salt, among others. Fifteen other brands have come on board as media partners as well,” says Rudrarup Dutta, head of marketing at Viacom18 Motion Pictures.
The brands have either been woven into the film’s script, or are currently carrying campaigns on-air and on-ground to promote the film.
For example, Mother Dairy has a television campaign on-air, which extols the virtues of the brand’s product featuring Chopra as Mary Kom.
Chopra’s boxer avatar was also seen promoting the grand finale of the Pro Kabaddi League. In the past, too, films have incorporated brands in the script by giving them prominent visibility in scenes.
One of the most memorable instances of brand integration into a film is Coca-Cola in Taal (1999) and more recently, Nokia in Chennai Express.
The film will hit 1,500-1,800 screens worldwide on September 5. In India, the producers have tried to maintain a multiplex-to-single screen ratio of 60:40.
“The strategy is to release the film with a bespoke mix of multiplexes and single screens. Moreover, the film has a ‘U’ certificate and as the story is universal and connects to all sections of the audiences in India. All of these factors are expected to work together favourably for the film,” explains Dutta.
In case of overseas distribution, the movie will be released in a phased manner with the first phase targeting diaspora audiences.
The traditional markets for Bollywood movies such as the US, the UK and the United Arab Emirates will be the territories in the first phase of the international release. Mary Kom is being distributed worldwide by Eros International as part of a four-film deal between the two studios.
The film’s music rights lie with Zee Music company, while the satellite rights rest with Viacom18’s flagship general entertainment channel Colors.
Viacom18 was also the production house, which brought the story of Milkha Singh to cinema audiences worldwide last year. Dutta believes that while both are biopics, the two films have very different stories to tell.
Apart from being the first biopic based on the life and trials of a female Indian sportsperson, Mary Kom has a more contemporary feel. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (starring Farhan Akhtar) was set in the 1940s and 1950s.
“The similarity between the two campaigns that can be drawn is that both scripts are aligned with their themes and we have steered clear of base gimmicks,” says Dutta.