Advertisers spend Rs 100 crore on marketing through films

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Advertisers are spending Rs 100 crore per year on film-based marketing, reveals a report by ESP, the sports and entertainment programming specialist arm of Group M. 

The first edition of the report, “Showbiz, The Indian Superpower”, released on Wednesday in Mumbai covers three aspects of the entertainment industry: film marketing, the celebrity aspect (endorsers and influencers), and content licensing. 

Brand associations with films have been quantified in two categories, in-film product placement and co-branded marketing. The latter commands a greater share of brand association when it comes to films. While Hindi and English films corner the bulk of brand alliances, films in Marathi and south Indian languages are not far behind. 

Data from the report reveals 25 per cent of Hollywood and 20 per cent of Bollywood films have brand associations in the form of co-branded marketing and in-film product placement. And 17 per cent of Marathi films and 15 per cent of South Indian language films follow this trend. 

“Certain Hindi films offer scale that their regional or Hollywood counterparts cannot offer. While the festive releases like Tubelight, Judwaa 2 and Golmaal Again went to over 3,000 screens, other films like Hindi Medium and Bareilly Ki Barfi, too, offered extensive reach, especially in tier II and tier III cities. This kind of scale makes parallel marketing campaigns automatically assume a new level of awareness,” the report adds. 

In terms of categories of advertisers, FMCG leads the table with a 19 per cent share, followed by apparel brands at 14 per cent and e-commerce brands at 11 per cent. It is interesting that e-commerce figures among the top three categories because other platforms like TV have seen a distinct slowdown in ad-spends by this segment. 

The report also sheds light on the specifics of film marketing in India. The film entertainment industry is growing at 10 per cent, year on year, in terms of the number of films released. This opens numerous marketing opportunities for brands through alliances and content licensing. Marketing budgets for films have grown from 5-6 per cent of the production budget to 10-15 per cent, which is closer to the global average. 

“The film entertainment industry is an integral part of India’s marketing landscape and drives revenue for film production and exhibition. Traditional film studios and production houses now increasingly rely on advertising and digital media interaction, coupled with research, data analytics and innovation to market movies,” said Vinit Karnik, business head, ESP Properties. 

“Targeted marketing to the consumer has, therefore, become critical, and this report will offer brands and film producers some insights into movie marketing in a media landscape that is so disruptive,” he added. 

According to the Showbiz report, TV still commands the bulk of media spends during film promotions, ranging between 45 per cent and 50 per cent of total spends. Activations (on-ground engagement) have been steady at 25-30 per cent while digital has grown to be on a par with print, both commanding between 10 per cent and 15 per cent of the total film promotion budget. 

According to Showbiz, the Indian licensed merchandise marketing stands at Rs 87,560 crore, which is nearly 7 per cent of the global market. It is estimated to grow at 7.4 per cent, year on year, faster than markets like the UK, the US and Canada. This is led by global brands across animation, TV shows and movie franchises, with a few home-grown characters present in a small way. 

Another data point that the ESP entertainment report brings out is about celebrity endorsement. In the last 10 years, 25 per cent of brand advertising on television features a famous face. This trend is growing rapidly with the influx of digital avenues, as 47 per cent of millennials are influenced by celebrities pushing a brand on social media. Thus celebrities are now seen playing the role of active influencers to the brands rather than just endorsing them.