Akshay flies kites for Chandni Chowk to China

By Tarana Khan , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | January 19, 2009
In keeping with the new trend of leading actors promoting their movies, Akshay Kumar went all out for this week's release, Chandni Chowk to China


quite evident now that movies that are marketed well generally create enough interest to pull in audiences during the first weekend, which is often adequate to recover costs. Akshay Kumar, star of the newly released Chandni Chowk to China (CC2C), went flying kites to promote the film. And that was just part of the promotional campaign, which saw the involvement of brands such as Thums Up and various media partners.

Speaking about the USP of the film, Sooraj Bhalla, director, creative and content, Mates, says, "Chandni Chowk to China is Bollywood's first attempt at kung fu." Mates, the entertainment marketing arm of the Madison Group, has been involved in the promotion of the film and engineered the brand associations.

Akshay Kumar is the brand ambassador of cold drink brand Thums Up and it made sense to show that connection in its advertising. For the first time, Thums Up promoted a film of its brand ambassador by using an ad shot by the director of the film, Nikhil Advani. According to a spokesperson at Thums Up, the product has also been placed within the film.

Apart from the ad, the company has created cobranded trailers and launched special edition CC2C PET bottles. Retail promotions have been carried out through point-of-purchase material at outlets.

"The brand promise that Akshay Kumar shows in most ads is that he will do anything for Thums Up. That is what the latest ad film also tries to show, using shots from the film," says Sainath Saraban, executive creative director at Leo Burnett, the creative agency for Thums Up.

The on-ground part of the campaign had Kumar up on the roof in South Mumbai, flying kites with his fans on Makar Sakranti, when kites are flown traditionally. The activity was broadcast by Red FM and Zoom TV.

Initially, Red FM set up a contest in which listeners had to catch where Kumar was bluffing. Anuj Singh, national marketing head and station head, Mumbai, Red FM, says, "Lucky listeners got an opportunity to fly kites with Akshay Kumar and RJ Malishka. We had Akshay Kumar lending his voice for the contest. He also spent time interacting with the winners and flying kites with them."

For Delhi listeners, the station created an RJ character called Miyan China Man, who spoke Hindi with a Chinese touch.

Also in Delhi, a bus was arranged by the radio station, Fever FM. People could get on the bus, take part in contests and meet Kailash Kher, one of the music directors and lyricists of CC2C. The bus went on to the studios of Fever FM, where Kumar and his costar, Deepika Padukone, met their fans. The station also promoted the film in Mumbai and Kolkata through contests and interviews.

Neeraj Chaturvedi, station head, Mumbai and Delhi, Fever FM, says, "Akshay is associated with Delhi, so we wanted to create buzz in the Capital. We have also been associated with the music 'mahurat' of Chandni Chowk to China on radio."

The online ticketing partner, Bookmyshow.com, ran a contest in which winners got a chance to meet the stars. The film's official site on the Internet was created by Bollywoodhungama.com; an official page was also created on Facebook.

Apart from this, promotions were held in association with Fame Cinemas and MTV Roadies.

The film, which has been co-produced by Warner Bros, RS Entertainment and Orion Pictures, was released on 1,400 screens in India.

© 2009 afaqs!