SRK key pivot in Columbia's 'Incredible' promo act

MUMBAI: Recently CG centric films like Spiderman and Shrek 2 have given stiff competition to our Hindi heroes. Now, we have Disney's The Incredibles not competing with, but actually collaborating with, superstar Shah Rukh Khan to woo audiences.

Hum Hain Lajawab, the Hindi dubbed version of The Incredibles is to have SRK lending his well known voice to Mr Incredible, the lead character of the film. The voice cast also boasts of the versatile Javed Jaffrey, Rakshanda Khan and SRK's son Aryan.

Columbia Tristar, the distributor of the Disney flick has rolled up its sleeves for the marketing & promotional activity.

Speaking to, Columbia Tristar Marketing Manager Divya Pathak says, "We want to change the general perception of the masses that animation is just for kids, with Nemo we had a lot of elders queuing up and with SRK dubbing for this movie we are looking at a whole lot of additional audiences queuing up for the film".

"We hope that this helps open out the market to build animation as a category. This, according to us, is the real crossover when SRK is actually starring in a Hollywood movie." she adds.



A lot of marketing and promotional tie-ups are in the pipeline for the movie.

Of the many co-branding deals and cross promotional deals being planned around the movie, two have already been put in place.

Says Pathak, "McDonalds has a global tie-up with Disney for merchandising. Following the huge popularity that the Nemo merchandise enjoyed, the fast food major is excited about The Incredibles too. Other than the merchandise we also plan to have The Incredibles birthday bashes at McDonalds"

"We have also tied up with Cadburys, wherein Cadburys' Gems' cartons and tubes shall carry jumbo stickers and there will be a special box (like celebrations) which will carry a 50 piece The Incredibles jigsaw puzzle," Pathak adds.

There are also plans in place to have garments based on The Incredibles costumes at Pantaloons. As the release date draws near, the distributor plans to increase its main media thrust and couple it with a flurry of on ground events and below the line activities.

"The Disney name has a certain equity with Indian families, Disney stands for moral values and because of that we have a lot of schools for whom we arrange special screenings," says Pathak.

Comparing the marketing and positioning activity involved for films with that of brands she says, "There are brands like Kellogs that have broken into traditional homes and markets replacing the traditional breakfast. The difference between such a brand and a movie is that while the marketing of a brand can happen over a long period of time, the marketing and positioning of a film has a limited time frame."

"The problem lies not in creating awareness for an animated feature but in converting that awareness into footfalls. A known face is needed to sell a movie. In animation you can't add a known face to the cast, so we gave it a voice. Voice is a strong human connect in animation. SRK is one of the most popular guys around, he is a kids icon, a family icon. Besides he also loves animation," Pathak points out.

In terms of animated features, Columbia had a very good 2003 with Finding Nemo, Jungle Book 2 and Lion King Imax format all doing very well at the box office.

Nemo released with 40 prints and grossed Rs 18 million. "We are planning 80 prints for The Incredibles and the figure might just go up depending on the heat generated by the promotions," says a confidant Pathak.

"With Toy Story, Pixar took viewers into the world of toys, with A Bug's Life into the realm of insects, Finding Nemo they took us undersea and now with The Incredibles Pixar shall take the viewers into a land of super heroes," she concludes.

Be it bollywood bonanzas or Hollywood fare, animation as a category has a lot to compete with in India. SRK has lent his voice to this Disney flick, will he lend his box office charms too?

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