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All about the run-up to brand Milkha

July 12, 2013 08:53 IST

Bhaag Milkha BhaagIn a year that has already seen quite a few successful outings in Bollywood, the next one on the block is Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, produced and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, known for the cult hit Rang De Basanti.

The movie stars Farhan Akhtar as the legendary athlete Milkha Singh, who was the first to represent India at the Olympics, with Sonam Kapoor playing the female lead.

BMB, distributed by Viacom Motion Pictures, will open in 1,800-2,000 screens in India and 200-275 screens abroad.

The cost of production of the movie is being pegged at close to Rs 38 crore (Rs 380 million) while the marketing spends are in the range of Rs 10-12 crore (Rs 100-120 million).

The industry is hoping for packed multiplexes over the weekend.

Gautam Dutta, COO, PVR says, "With 70 per cent advance booking for the movie's 500 shows across PVR's 150 screens, the audience's excitement for the movie is high."

Suniel Wadhwa, independent distributor and box office analyst says, "BMB can be a super-hit at the box office because it is a biopic involving restraint, modesty and courage.

"Its has huge potential to be an official entry to Oscars from India."

The buzz around the movie saw a slew of collaborations with brands. Dairy major Amul, for example, has associated with one of the incidents portrayed in Singh's life.

Soon after he joined the Indian Army, the jawaans were asked to participate in a cross-country race where the winner would be awarded a glass of milk.

Milkha ran the race chanting "doodh, doodh, doodh"

and won, all for a glass full of milk.

Cashing in on his insatiable love, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation created a co-branded promo using footage from the movie and the Amul Milk TVC.

The promo celebrates the synergy between the two brands, encouraging consumers to explore the 'Milkha' within them with the world's original energy drink -- milk.

"This movie has a great fit with brand Amul -- it stands for striving and winning to become the leader and we want the youth to follow this, to persevere", says GCMMF's managing director R S Sodhi.

Other brands like Monte Carlo, Getit, Air India, Garnier and Adidas have also tied up with the film.

The music rights for the movie have been acquired by Sony Music for Rs 5 crore (Rs 50 million) (including the marketing and promotion costs) according to industry estimates.

The label has gone all out for promoting the music with roadblocks on channels apart from exclusive tie-ups with Sony Mix and Fever 104 FM.

Rudrarup Datta, head -- marketing, Viacom18 Motion Pictures says, "Marketing a biopic is a completely different ball-game as you are showing an individual's life.

"We started by launching the campaign way back in November, 2012, when we released the first look of the movie. This has helped in conditioning the audiences to the feel of BMB.

"Closer to the release of the movie, we have gone about establishing that while it is a biopic, it is a hugely entertaining film (through the on air promos)."

He goes on to reveal that the focus had been on promoting the film on television through various cuts of the promo, while the mandate for on-ground promotions lay with the brands associated with the movie.

Urvi Malvania in Mumbai