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In-film Branding, Product Placements and Co-Branding Arrangements


What is in film branding or co-branding?

It is a mode of advertising through which various branded products are being placed in the movies or TV shows (without blurring it out).

It is also known as covert branding and it has become a medium of advertising due to the great psychological, entertainment and the emotional values on the viewers. This is the reason it is considered to be a great platform for propaganda. It is growing day by day due to the celebrity endorsement and viewers are inculcating more interest due to that.

Many examples like award-winning movies that were Fashion and it endorsed brands like Reebok, Jimmy choo in the Bollywood industry. Whereas in the Hollywood film industry, in the movie Minority Report where Tom Cruise used the Nokia brand phone and endorsed it. Also, in the James Bond film, the products like Omega watches and Aston Martin cars were placed.

Product placements are an example of that.

Major in film branding in India

This type of advertising in India existed since 1970 and the very first covert advertising was done in the movie ‘Taal’ where the Pepsi brand was shown in the year 1999. It has emerged with time in the Bollywood industry as in the movie Chennai Express, the Nokia brand mobile phone was displayed. Anushka Sharma in the movie ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ was holding the camera of Canon.

But the movie 3 Idiots in bollywood entirely changed the concept of film branding and it included the endorsement of brands at a great level. The following brands were involved in the movie:

  • Air India:  It was shown in the first scene of the movie and the first scene of the film was shot in the Air India Aircraft. The visibility of Air India brand was successful and it came out to be a very interesting brand integration.
  • Airtel: The Airtel data card was used by Aamir khan to connect to his friend in the hospital for a webcam connection and it has made the brand pretty evident.
  • Fortis Hospital: the scenes which were shot in Fortis hospital were very emotional and touching and these scenes showcased the environment of Fortis hospital as a happy place.
  • Mahindra Flyte: the bike / scooter was endorsed at a larger level as it was used by all three friends in the movie. This two wheeler was a central part of that movie.
  • Samsung Mobiles: there was usage of only samsung mobiles in the movie and also it was shown in many scenes where Chatur was also using the same phone.
  • Volvo: the Red coloured Volvo XC90 was showcased in the scenes at some places of Ladakh and it was not yet launched. It included a great placement and visibility.
  • Many other brands like Converse shoes, Zapak.com, Facebook, Homeshop18 ,VanHeusen,Reliance life, Pantaloons  etc was associated with the movie which promoted the Out of film branding.

In recent times, Tata Motors was a partner of the online TV show ‘Tripling’, released by The Viral Fever. 

What does product placement mean?

The term product placement is when the product is being promoted through the medium of any show or movie rather than being done in an explicit manner.

Product placement commenced in 1970 and the first movie was Bobby in which Rajdoot was being promoted and similarly in the movie Bunty aurBabli, the car like Maruti Suzuki Swift was displayed.

The process works out in a manner where sometimes a production house pays to the branding store or sometimes vice versa.

What are the benefits of In film branding? Why is it booming?

The benefits of in-film branding are as follows:

  • Benefits to lesser known brands: it is obvious when any brand is shown in any of the movie where the psychological involvement of a citizen is there, it can become like a Skyrocket.
  • It includes the celebrity halo effect: the promotion of brand is faster with the celebrity involvement in it.
  • Filmmakers can earn money: due to the In film branding the filmmakers can earn money and that too in a very easy manner.
  • Product Placement can be used for raising funds: due to the involvement of the scenario of product placement, now the producers have many chances to increase their funds by the medium of product placement and In film branding.

Cross promotion: there is cross promotion on both sides whereby the film is promoting

Contributed by: Shreya Marwaha, A Member of Legal Experts Team at LLL

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