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Brand DON: Everybody wants to own it

By , agencyfaqs! | In Advertising | November 02, 2006
A look at some rather interesting in-film placements and other activities around the much-hyped SRK starrer, 'DON'


The word & #BANNER1 & # 'DON' need not stand for a master crook anymore, for in the eyes of marketers, the word now spells 'attitude' and 'high style'.

The remake of the 1978 Amitabh Bachchan starrer 'DON' was bound to generate tremendous hype, considering the equity the first one carried with itself. And that became especially so, when the Badshah of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan was roped in to play the lead. As the remake is set in contemporary times, stylish gismos and technology driven products became a part of the script. So what could marketers get out of such a film?

"Well, given the fact that largely the plot was known to all, an FMCG brand would hardly benefit from an association with the new 'DON'," says Darshana Bhalla, CEO, MATES (Madison's Entertainment unit, which handled various brand activities around the movie). "As the treatment of this film is slick and stylish, a brand seeking out to rope in the youth with its 'cool' image would definitely benefit."

Enter Oakley sunglasses, for which its core TG is the urban youth, particularly HNIs. As a result, SRK sported the brand's special MP3 and Bluetooth sunglasses in around 70 per cent of his shots in the film. Further, the main leads in the film, Boman Irani, Priyanka Chopra and Arjun Rampal, all wore the glares at various instances. Different frames were used for different moments; an action packed shot had the hi-fi stylish ones, for instance. Besides, the Oakley sunglasses are a part of every publicity design element, including posters and hoardings. Oakley also launched ads in select fashion magazines, as well as outdoor ads, where SRK sports the brand with the alphabet 'O' reflecting prominently on the glares. Oakley also had a tie up with Café Coffee Day, wherein visual merchandise (both for the film and the brand) was put up at various outlets. Even the 'DON' music track was played at these places.

Louis Philippe, too, associated itself with 'DON'. The brand is known for its slick, business class-yet youthful range of clothing. Needless to say, Khan was styled in Louis Philippe outfits throughout the movie, by designer Akki Narula (of 'Bunty Aur Babli' fame). Three days post the release of the film, Shah Rukh Khan also launched the 'DON-Louis Philippe' line of clothing, with simultaneous television promos aired for the same. Brand executives are confident that DON's double shirts and suave ties will be a rage soon, as New Year's Eve is around the corner.

Motorola is yet another brand that benefited from the movie. SRK's introduction shot opens with him speaking into his MOTORAZR, introducing himself as "DON" to the person on the other end.

Subsequently, whoever is on the phone in the movie (there are several phone sequences), uses some or the other Motorola model. At least 8-9 shots in the movie are ones in which the 'M' logo in the Motorola phone is clearly visible. This in-film placement is a first for Motorola in India.

While the above three were executed by MATES, there were other brands that became a part of the film as well. As SRK is the brand ambassador for TAG Heuer in India, the brand integrated itself into the film as a strategic move. Khan wore TAG Heuer watches throughout the film. Further, Oakley and TAG Heuer launched on-ground promotions in multiplexes airing the movie, wherein one could win the brand merchandise on the spot, on winning the 'DON' contest.

As most of the film is shot in Malaysia, the tourism industry there was bound to benefit. Malaysia Tourism provided locations at subsidised rates to the makers of the film. In return, Malaysia Tourism was promoted through 'DON' footage by way of press ads in India.

While brands grabbed the opportunity of visibility in the movie, online and mobile players weren't too far behind in leveraging the 'techno-savvy' backdrop of the film. MSN India launched the 'DON Chase' contest, wherein users can get a 'DON' ID completely free for life, and twenty lucky entrants to the contest will win a trip to Malaysia. The contest involves collecting complex clues and solving them.

As the character Don plays cat-and-mouse with the cops, Hungama Mobile and Excel Entertainment (the producers of 'DON') launched a multiplayer online and mobile 'DON' game, in which players need to get hold of the elusive DON, a task at which even the Interpol fails, in the movie. The mobile game is available in two versions - one is the Race and Chase game on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, and the other is the role-playing game. The Race and Chase, as the name suggests, gives the player a chance to outfox the DON and capture him. In the other, the player has to help Shah Rukh Khan find the secret disc, which he desperately seeks to prove that he is not the DON, but a victim of a serious case of mistaken identity.

© 2006 agencyfaqs!

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