Film merchandising has emerged as a major source of promotion and branding for filmmakers, a trend that was prominent during Shah Rukh Khan-starrer ‘Ra.One’. With an idea of reaching out to masses, production houses now go all out, especially to target young movie goers by coming up with catchy products at par with Hollywood hits like Iron Man and Spiderman.
Though an established formula in Hollywood, the Hindi film industry has not been hugely successful with merchandising; Shah Rukh and his innovative production house and Yash Raj Studios have tried to fill the void in this lucrative segment. On the eve of ‘Ra.One’, SRK was quoted as saying, “I’ve always loved collecting memorabilia of my favorite films and am hoping that for our films too, if people like them, they should have the option of collecting good quality merchandise.”
For the film, licenses were let out to different companies. For example, since G.One drew his power directly from the sunlight and was environmentally-friendly, an array of solar charged power decks were conceived. There were the regular magnets, toys, and danglers.
When Bollywood actor Dino Morea’s www.coolmaal.net, a film & celebrity merchandise site was launched, the aim was to access film lovers to cater to the demand for such products. During Dabangg, they had come up with a collection of watches, shades, and tees apart from the Chulbul Pandey line. A tie-up was done with a multiplex chain to ensure that the Dabangg merchandise served as a logical extension of the movie watching experience. The Dabangg 2 app was launched and conetsts were run with cool merchandise to be won for Salman Khan fans.
More and more production houses are eager to launch film memorabilia as well as autographed products even leveraging the reach and power of the Internet. Merchandising is an avenue, which they realize can be tapped for branding and promotion. Everyone obviously will want a slice of a successful production. And if the merchandise is really cool and carries some amount of utility value, it will sure be popular.