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Big B's Viruddh ropes in brands

July 06, 2005 10:15 IST

Amitabh Bachchan is not the brand ambassador for Aviva Life Insurance, yet he's heard repeating 'Jiyo har pal, karo kal par control' -- the tagline of Aviva in the recent promos of the film Viruddh.

Obviously, Aviva's director marketing Vivek Khanna is kicked: "The concept of the film is in sync with our brand. Getting Amitabh Bachchan to say 'Kal Par Control' and 'Kya aap zindagi ke chote bade surprises ke liye taiyar hain' in two 30-second promos is an innovative marketing methodology evolved by our in-house team to create brand recall," he says.

Interestingly, Viruddh, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Sharmila Tagore and John Abraham, has attracted other brands too. Film marketing company Advista has managed to tie-up with two brands -- Nerolac Paints and Calcium Sandoz -- for product placement in the film.

Advista director Rupali Mehra, however, clarifies that Aviva's co-branding deal was not handled by her film marketing company. "Aviva is not placed in the film but is a co-branding exercise instead."

Aviva, UK's insurance company that came to India in 2002, tied up with ABCL, the company that's producing Viruddh. "The film deals with the uncertainties of life and Aviva prepares people to face them,"claims Khanna.

For Nerolac Paints, Advista saw an opportunity in the film's script. The brand's commercial plays in the background as Amitabh Bachchan paints the house to welcome his son back from the US.

"The placements were based on the scripts demand," says Mehra, adding that the deal was pitched separately to the paints company though Bachchan may be Nerolac's brand ambassador.

Similarly, Calcium Sandoz fitted in well in the story where the ideal husband offers his wife calcium pellets to keep her bones healthy.

"The bottle is distinct and visible and the product is meant for women over 40," explains Mehra. In the film, Bachchan and Sharmila Tagore make an ideal couple growing old together.

"The placements were possible because we were aware of the script's specific requirements, which is crucial for such tie ups," adds Mehra.

Having placed the brands in the film, Advista is now working on co-branding the products with the film, that is, showing them in the campaigns in print, on television, radio and on ground.

Other than Viruddh, Advista Bombay Pvt Ltd, has sought product placements in films such as Baghbaan (ICICI), Waqt. More recently, for the film Yakeen, Advista tied up with Café Coffee Day and the Q-JAM juke box.

The film was promoted at the Cafe Coffee Day outlets in Mumbai , Hyderabad, Delhi and Bangalore through posters. For Kya Kool Hai Hum, the company negotiated an in-film placement of Spykar Jeans.

The brand was promoted through the title song where it forms the backdrop of the stage. Even the dancers in the song are clad in Spykar apparels. Spykar promoted the film at all its outlets and also sponsored the music launch of the film.
BS Bureau in New Delhi