In today’s era film industry is making sure that no stones are left unturned to make a film successful at box office. Today film merchandising has become the buzz of the industry. And why not! If it can work wonders at box office collections and woo the respective audience then why not going for it.
The upcoming film of Shahrukh Khan, Ra.One, is the biggest example of film merchandising as a promotional strategy. Shailja Gupta, head, digital and merchandising, Red Chillies Entertainment opines that this trend is followed keeping in mind the youth of India. She feels that the products of the film are at par with Hollywood film including films like Spiderman and Iron Man.
Shailja says, “Bollywood has tried a spattering of merchandising before but somehow, none of it did well. maybe, the way it was executed or the company that bought the merchandising rights was to be blamed for it. And with the standard and variety of Hollywood merchandise available in the Indian markets now, expectations are bound to be high.”
Shahrukh Khan and the production house both wanted to fill the void of film merchandising in Bollywood and have gone far to make sure that they do not compromise on quality. This is the reason of Ra.One’s exclusivity.
“I have always loved collecting memorabilia of my favourite films and am hoping that for our films too, if people like them, they should have the option of collecting good quality merchandise,” says Shahrukh.
Adding further he says, “For Ra.One, back-to-school, miscellaneous and cool gadgets merchandise, we have let out the license to different companies. For instance, since G.One draws his energy from the sunlight and is environmentally friendly, we thought of a range of high-end solar charged power decks. Of course, there are the regular magnets, danglers and toys. G.One will be soon converted into a superhero for kids and we are trying to build a franchise property of the character.”
While on the other hand Shailja informs us, “We also plan to publish a shorter version of the digital comic book, have a simpler version of the game on DTH services and a game for feature phones.”
For those who are unaware, this is for them. When Dino Morea’s film and celebrity merchandise website named www.coolmaal.net was launched, Dino’s intention was to reach out to the film fans and followers at a click. Dino reveals, the demand just increases. For instance, during Dabangg, we had an entire collection of tees, watches and shades, the Chulbul Pandey line. We tied up with a multiplex chain so that the merchandise was an extension of the viewers’ movie going experience.”
Coolmaal.com has collaborated with some of the production houses to preserve the memorabilia related to nay given film and autographed products. Dino is al praises for this inline format of merchandising. “It’s less risky if the film is a success, then the products are a hit but if the film fails, then the entire effort goes to waste when it comes to a retail format. Moreover, unorganized retail accounts for almost 90% of the market share and a lot of things need to be set right,” says Dino.
So does he agree that merchandising is a new trend in Bollywood and he denies it completely. He ends up saying, “Everyone wants a slice of a successful film. Moreover, if the merchandise is cool and has some utility value, even better.”