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Brands in the multiplex

With ad avoidance on traditional media on the rise, many brands are looking at ambient media as platforms for their promotion plans. Saurabh Turakhia tells more...

business Updated: Aug 28, 2007 23:56 IST

With ad avoidance on traditional media on the rise, many brands are looking at ambient media as platforms for their promotion plans. Multiplex chains in India are abuzz with branding and advertising activities that result in a good deal of experiential marketing.

So, just around the time that the SRK film Chak De released, a mini hockey goal-post was created in a foyer at various chains of Fame, PVR, Adlabs and Inox to celebrate the spirit of womanhood. Every enthused woman who scored six goals in fifteen seconds got gift hampers of CavinKare’s Fairever range of fairness creams.

In another promotion involving Asian Paints, tickets were distributed in ticket-jackets that sported Asian Paints’ look and feel.
At Fun Cinemas, there was a joint promotion by Mahindra Renault and Kinetic, whereby lucky visitors got a chance to win a Mahindra Renault Logan or any of the three new brands of Kinetic bikes.

Branding activities in and around multiplexes are happening on-screen as well as off-screen. The figures may still be small, but the growth rate is certainly encouraging, feel experts. Abhijeet Thakar, deputy general manager- cinema activation, P9 Integrated, which is an agency that specialises in such activities, says, “At present, multiplex-based branding may amount to Rs 100 crore, which is a very small share of the Rs 16,000 crore advertising industry. However, more and more brands are shifting the monies they earlier used to allocate to traditional media to such ambient media. In a period of three years, this industry may grow to Rs 300 crore.”

He expectsbillings of Rs 10 crore by December 2007 for P9 Integrated’s cinema activation cell. The revenue will be 10-15 per cent of that.

Multiplexes are being used by brands for activities such as new product launches, data collection, sampling and sales promotion. Most chains make anywhere between six-to-10 per cent of their total revenue from branding activities.

Kushal Sanghvi, deputy general manager, Adlabs Films - Business Intelligence, says that the chain, with 100 screens spread across the country, clocks anywhere between Rs 12-15 crore annually through branding activities by corporates. With 39 screens spread across 13 locations, Cinemax, which has a total turnover of approximately Rs 100 crore, makes close to Rs 7 crore from multiplex branding and advertising activities.

Revenues from on-screen advertising continue to be higher than off-screen promotions. Thaker says, “A 60-second commercial that runs for three--to-four weeks in the top eight metros may cost Rs 25-30 lakh.” He adds that for off-screen displays, a weekend’s booking of a 6x6 feet foyer space would come for Rs 9,000-10,000 per day. For a weekday, the rate would be Rs 5,000-6,000.

Regular promotions centre around plasma TVs in foyers, on-floor projections, and popcorn cone/seat-sticker/washroom/lift-door branding. However, a few interesting theme-based concepts are also being worked out.

Abhishek Raina, marketing head, Fame Cinemas, says, “We have started off in Mumbai with a concept called ‘Wednesdays for women’every woman buying a movie ticket on a Wednesday at Fame gets an assured gift. Kaya, L’oreal, and some local brands have bought into the concept. Similarly, a ‘Senior Citizen’s Day out’ initiative has recently kicked off in Kolkata.”

Brands are happy with the multiplex option as well. Sanghvi of Adlabs says some international brands commit nothing less than Rs 30 lakh a year with the chain.

Says Manoj Ganjawalla, VP, marketing & sales, Godrej Interio, “We spend close to Rs 2.5 crore annually on out-of-home activities, of which around Rs 1 crore go towards multiplex advertising. The association helps us in terms of better product identification by consumers and direct feedback at a time when they don’t feel interrupted.” He adds that since the youth is a big part of the target audience, the heavily cluttered and expensive traditional channels may not work well.

With major exhibitors on an expansion spree and consumers, especially the youth, happy with this entertainment space, the brand rush to multiplex chains is bound to go up.