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Spirit of celluloid draws McDowell

By Sambit Saha in Kolkata
February 17, 2003 12:36 IST

McDowell & Co Ltd is increasingly finding the spirit of celluloid intoxicating. The company has steadily upped its exposure in films, both Indian and Hollywood, and plans to increase exposure in the next fiscal.

At present, the company is working with two films, Raveena Tandon's production Stumped, in which McDowell No 1 has been associated and Dum, the Vivek Oberoi starrer, where Bagpiper found a place.

Alok Gupta, divisional vice-president, (marketing), of The UB Group Spirits Division, said films have an overwhelming influence on the country at large. "Nothing mesmerises the nation more than film and cricket and we are keen to seize the advantage.

"The movie 'Stumped' is about a nation, which is swayed by cricket, even as soldiers fight a relentless war at the battlefront with its enemies.

"It features Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, upcoming Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh and veteran Ravi Shastri," Gupta said.

"The spirit major has associated itself through the second largest brand under its portfolio McDowell No. 1. The brand will appear in the movie as slice of life thing. The brand is the title sponsor. In the theatres, the print ad would run saying McDowell presents 'Stumped'," Gupta said.

The company had recently tied up with two talked-about movies, multi-starrer Kaante and the Hollywood movie Analyze That, in which Premium Signature whiskey found a place. The company also concluded a deal with Dum which will go along with Bagpiper, the largest Indian whiskey brand.

"We have identified brands such as McDowell, Bagpiper and Signature which would be promoted in this fashion. The kitty for Hollywood and Bollywood will only swell with time and we believe our outlay can even increase over 25 per cent if we hit upon good projects," Gupta said.

The outlay for films is pegged around Rs 3 crore (Rs 30 million) this fiscal.

While McDowell No 1 sells around 4 million cases, Bagpiper sells 7 million cases a year. In comparison, Signature Rare Whiskey sells over one-and-half lakh cases.

Sambit Saha in Kolkata