Hollywood’s X-Men gives Indian brands a global image

X-Men Days of Future Past, starring Hugh Jackman, is doing well in terms of promotional-tie-ups with Indian brands. Jackman is a brand ambassador for mobile brand Micromax, which is spending close to Rs 4 crore on film promotional tie-ins — the highest spend ever by an Indian brand on a film.

Five other big brands — Mountain Dew, Garnier Men,

Norton

, TVS Apache Fox Star Studios have collectively done deals worth Rs 8 crore in advertising for the film, among the highest for Hollywood films.

“With release strategies reaching upwards of 1,500 prints for the big-ticket franchise films, Hollywood is growing in reach, specially beyond English audiences.

Also, where brands are concerned, Hollywood is clearly still seen as aspirational and that has improved the value that brands can extract out of these associations,” says KPMG’s Head of Media & Entertainment, Jehil Thakkar.

Fox Star Studios chief marketing officer Shikha Kapur of Fox Star Studios is confident that the film will do better than the last from the franchise — X-Men First Class — which took in Rs 16 crore at the box office.

“We are going with nearly double the prints this time (900 vs 500 last time) across English, Hindi Tamil and Telugu,” she says. Action movie franchises like Avengers and Iron Man have seen collections of close to Rs 40 crore net box office, while the big ones like Spiderman have touched Rs 60 crore.

And Hollywood’s share of the Indian market is rising — from 3.94 per cent in 2007 to 8 per cent in 2013. That means more interest from marketers — and not just the usual cola brands. Amer Jaleel, national creative director, Lowe Lintas, which handles the Micromax account, says that the international appeal of Jackman was key for the brand.

“These (consumers) were tech, game and web savvy who love superhero franchises, which are pitched slightly above the others – these are a community which then become the influencers.

“Our phones are high-end smart phones, with Jackman we got that international brand image and got into the hands of a lot of people who would not have otherwise have bought it,” he says.

The reach of Hollywood films is also spreading beyond the major metros. Dubbing in local languages like Tamil, Hindi and Telugu has opened up a massive market. According to industry data, dubbed versions contribute between 25-30 per cent to Hollywood film’s revenues.

About 1,000 films are produced annually in India, the world’s biggest producer, where nearly 3 billion theatrical admissions are recorded every year.