Brands galore caught in 'Spider Man 2's' web

MUMBAI: If there's one movie which everyone is talking about at present (and for all the right reasons) it is Columbia TriStar's global box office smash Spider Man 2.

The movie has done record-shattering business all over the world and is doing the same in India too.



A total of 303 prints were released in India which will be played across 325 screens including two IMAX screens. The movie will also be dubbed in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, thus taking the Spidey phenomena across the nation.

Columbia TriStar weaved a 360 degree turnaround campaign using all media including TV, print, radio, Internet and outdoor. The prime driver is obviously TV. The company also has their own retail tie-ins across various malls in India and also their own school programmes.




Merchandising galore: Spidey caps and lollipops to lure kids

Said an ecstatic Columbia TriStar Films of India head of publicity and acquisitions Vikramjit Roy, "Spider Man is a true super hero who cuts across barriers - his modesty, his essential humanness, and his struggle with goodness, makes it easy for audiences to relate to him. Our 360 degree built up on Spider Man 2 is an unusual campaign where we have a lot of brand tie-ups. We have used all media for promoting the movie and it has received a phenomenal response."

More merchandising: Spidey games

Columbia TriStar's basic objective in all the marketing campaigns for Spider Man 2 was to connect to the kids, teenagers, young adults, the 30+ crowd and also the dating crowd.

What's more... Columbia TriStar has tied up with all possible brands for the promotion of Spider Man 2. Right from HBO, AXN, Sony Entertainment Television, Max, Sony Music, Sony Ericsson, Sony Electronics, Kelloggs, Mirinda, Airtel, Twinkle Comics, and Rediff.

Since Spider Man 2 is a huge brand from Sony, tie ups with Sony are bound to be in abundance. The synergy with Sony can be seen in the form of Sony Music wherein a special track called Naa Jane Kyun was made for the movie by the Pakistani band Strings. The aim was to reach out to a wider audience base through a Hindi track.

Beyond the 15 tracks that appear on every copy of the soundtrack that was released in India on 7 July, Sony Music and Columbia were over the board with happiness with this merge. Sony Music managing director Shridhar Subramaniam was quoted in an official company release as saying, "Spider Man is truly a global phenomenon, which has also struck a chord with the Indian masses. We are convinced, adding a local language song increases the scale of the project by taking it to a new and larger audience. Strings was a natural choice, not only are they extremely talented, the lyrics to Na Jaane Kyun seem to have been written for Spiderman."

"We at Columbia TriStar, have devised a marketing plan for Spider Man 2, keeping in mind the super hero's global image that transcends religion, language, age and nationality. Hence also, the decision to dub the film in three Indian languages: Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Spiderman is a name familiar to the Indian masses, and what better way to reach out to the masses, than a Hindi song," says Columbia TriStar Films of India marketing manager Harshvardhan Gangurde.

When the first Spider Man was released he rode on a Borivali to Curchgate local train in Mumbai and this time around he has a song sung for him! What next?

While Sony Entertainment Television's (SET) Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahi has been in the limelight recently for its tie-up with Yash Raj Films' last venture Hum Tum wherein Saif Ali Khan made a special appearance in the serial, this time round Spidey has gone ahead and done just that. Columbia TriStar has had in programme tie-in with Spider Man which has been weaved into the script in SET's serials Jassi... and Ye Meri Life Hai - this is yet another first for any Hollywood film in India.

Also a special behind the scenes with Spider Man was done in Sony's entertainment based show called Ab Ayega Mazaa which aired on 18 July and was hosted by Rakshanda Khan. The show also had a segment covering Mandira Bedi's LA trip and her interview with the stars from the film also a segment covered Jassi's take on Spidey and also the Strings music video.

Now coming to Set's movies and special events channel - Max. In a specially created programme - Spotlight (aired on 17 July), the channel detailed out Mandira Bedi's trip to LA to cover the Spider Man 2 media conference.

Another path breaking first in the case of Spidey is that the channel ids of both Set and Max have an animated Spider Man swinging in and out as and when the channel ids come in.

AXN on the other hand, has a Spider Man bug (image) on their logo on a 24x7 basis. Also special behind the scenes programme with Spider Man 2 have been aired on the channel. HBO, on the other hand, is the channel partner for the movie.


Sony Ericsson Spider Man 2 branded mobile phones

Another promotional offer with Sony is that the company has launched four special models of Sony Ericsson Spider Man 2 branded mobile phones in India. All four models have Spider Man 2 wallpapers and two models have a Spider Man 2 game as well as changeable Spider Man 2 branded covers. Sony Ericsson will be promoting their phones via print ads and road shows.

Sony Electronics too has plunged into the Spidey web through their hi-end retail stores Sony World. This is their first major film promotion in India that they are doing via their digital camera range - Cyber Shot. On trial of the Cyber Shot, consumers get a Spider Man poster whereas if a customer purchases the Cyber Shot consumers get special Spider Man 2 merchandise. These offers will be promoted through a specially cut television commercial (TVC).

Sony Home Entertainment, on its behalf will be promoting the movie through their DVD and VCD sales for Spider Man (Part 1) and also give away merchandise and free VCDs of the same.

Well, the Sony Group has sure put together a synergistic and humongous marketing campaign to promote Spidey.

Kelloggs Chocos Spider Man 2 cereal

Apart from the Sony Group, Columbia TriStar has also had brand associations with Kelloggs wherein 550,000 special Kelloggs Chocos Spider Man 2 cereal were introduced in the market in July. Consumers who buy the Kelloggs Spidey cereal would get special Spidey water squirters, Spidey web image projectors and posters, a specially developed Spidey game, Spidey crossword, school labels etc.

Mirinda has also been weaved into Spidey's web. Mirinda has introduced 150,000 Pet bottles in July with the Spider Man 2 branding. Here too, premiums were given out on purchase of these packs which included T shirts, sippers etc. Mirinda also has a special Spidey TVC which is already on air. Also notable is the fact that this TVC will be dubbed in vernacular languages.


Spiderman Animated images download on Airtel


Spidey's Top Wallpaper on Airtel

How can mobile service providers be left out at a time when the wireless mania is on? Spider Man 2 has roped in Airtel which has the rights to a specially developed Spider Man 2 game and other downloads like wallpapers, screensavers etc. This promotion will be a part of their 'Airtel Live' campaign where in they promote entertainment content like games, movies, music, cricket - on the cell phone.

Coming to the comics section, Columbia TriStar has tied up with the popular Twinkle Comics wherein there will be contests which would revolve around a Spider Man game in the form of a puzzle.

Rediff sports the pics of the man behind the mask!

In India, Spider Man 2 promotions on the Internet can be caught on and Rediff has a special section on Spider Man 2 where a combination of web reports and photo features are put up.

Columbia TriStar hopes that through all these promotional campaigns Spider Man 2 can actually help the brands a boost in their sales. "They add the "zing thing" to their campaigns and the entertainment content makes the proposition that much more attractive to the consumer. It's this value proposition which differentiates the brand from its competition and helps it break through the clutter and therefore reach out to a wider consumer base. At the end of the day, these activities boost sales and increase consumption," said Roy.

Some staggering facts about Spider Man 2:

Spider Man 2 is the second largest grosser at the box office being next in line only to Titanic. It cranked out a staggering six-day estimate of $180.1 million at the North American box-office - the biggest first six days in box office history!

The Sam Raimi-directed sequel has had the largest opening day for any foreign movie in India by grossing Rs 23 million. It also had the largest single day collection (Sunday) for a foreign film of Rs 27 million. Spider Man 2 was also the largest weekend grosser with a collection of Rs 78 million which was 46.5 per cent higher than Spider Man.

Spider Man 2 was expected to cross the $200 million mark in eight days - which would make it the fastest to reach that level, as it would beat the nine days it took the original Spider Man to get there.

The movie has had phenomenal openings all over the globe including Japan, Germany, Scandinavia, Latin America, Brazil and across Asia.

Spider Man 2 has already breezed by Spider Man's lifetime grosses in five territories: Russia passed it in six days, the Philippines in seven, Turkey in 10, Thailand in 11 and Malaysia in 12, and all are still doing strong business.

While on the topic of breaking records, another first in the case of Spider Man 2 is that six months prior to the release of the movie in India, the pre-release trailer campaigns ran across theatres in India and the trailer was released along with the US trailer thus forming an integration of the Indian campaign with the US one. Said Columbia TriStar managing director Uday Singh, "Releasing day and date is passe! We now start our campaigns with the US - therefore bringing about a holistic integration between LA and Mumbai."

Phenomenal is the word that comes to mind!

All said and done, the latest joke that is doing the rounds of the industry is a photograph which just shows Spider Man's hand on the ground... and guess what's next to it? Another brand!! This time a lethal one for Spidey... the Baygon spray! Will that be the end of Spidey? We sure hope not but it's quite an innovation nonetheless!

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