Sanjeev Kotnala: Brand. Movie. Magic

08 Sep,2021

Sanjeev KotnalaBy Sanjeev Kotnala


Well, in addition to the real religion and regionalism, the three prominent religion equivalents in India are Cricket, Movies and Politics. Brands tend to exploit and leverage situations, topical events, and celebrity from them. Nothing else compares to the popularity and engagement than these three.


Politics being somewhat out of bonds for obvious reason, brands use cricket and Bollywood celebrities for everything: selling a coaching institute, sandal, insurance, banking, car, deliveries, and anything else you may need. Nothing wrong in it.


Cult movies and specific scenes and dialogues provide an opportunity for the brands to associate and leverage. Some of these have been used in the past very cleverly and successfully. Not necessarily clip merchandising, product placement or movie association.


But taking the clue from the movie, redoing it, or repurposing it to suit the brand communication. In past ‘Gabbar ki asli pasand’ by Britannia Glucose D has used the character from Sholay and re-enacting the scene. Tetley Tea has used ‘Kitna Inam rakha hai Sarkar nai’. Here are two examples where brands have used the opportunity. Something that just clicks. Where the brands have done well to ensure that association is simple and strong. The audience do not just watch the clip or the restaged scene- but they remember the brand with its message.


Dunzo uses ‘Tareekh Par Tareekh’  and Sunny Deol to great impact. The cult fitness studio uses DDLJ epic scene phenomenally well.



I personally feel that Indian advertising has not really leveraged epic/iconic movie situations and moments in advertising films, whereas radio has leveraged or rather exploited every sound- dialogue and situation to no end. Do you remember some other iconic movie shots used in advertising films, do share?


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