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From Tiger Biscuits to Zandu Balm: A saga of evolution of brands riding on cinema bandwagon

Though Emami, the manufacturers of Zandu Balm dithered for sometime whether to select Malaika Arora Khan as their brand ambassador after the phenomenal success of Munni Badnam hui, le Zandu Balm hui,' song from DABANGG, wisdom have dawned on them and Malaika Arora Khan is now the new brand ambassador of Zandu Balm. One song has given the brand such an outreach and the icing on the cake being the oomph of Malaika, no brand campaign could have achieved such success, and that a song has provided for the brand on a platter. 

One is reminded at this moment the moment of epiphany that Sunil Alagh, who was heading Britannia when SHOLAY was released and he wanted to position Tiger brand of biscuits in the market. Though he was advised not to go for it, Sunil Alagh went along with his gut feeling, and chose Gabbar as brand ambassador for Tiger brand of biscuits and rest was history. It was for the first time in the history of marketing that a villain was used as a brand ambassador to market a FMCG product, and the Tiger brand of biscuits really took off. It also helped in creating an image of Gabbar as a villain with a soft heart. 

In the same manner, Munni from DABANGG has pushed Zandu brand into premium category and is making the competitors lick their wounds as presently there is no better strategy to counter the phenomenal outreach of Zandu balm riding on the bandwagon of jhatkas and matkas of Malaika Arora Khan. Marketing after all is the ability to seize the initiative and what better way to seize it than to let it ride on the bandwagon of the most popular and raunchy songs in the recent memory. 

Brands have a shorter memory recall with the public and the extension of this recall is facilitated if it is woven around the most popular medium of performing arts i.e. cinema. As it is, surrogate advertisements have now become a part of the filming process but they have not been able to deliver the results. If one were to recapitulate old Hindi film songs where taxi repair shops were shown, one can notice strategically placed billboards of companies associated with automobile industry. The most famous recall could be the ever romantic song Ek ladki bheegi bhagi si from CHALTI KA NAAM GAADI. Imagine if the oil company had used Kishore Kumar as a brand icon to sell the engine oil. But at that point of time marketing as an aspect arising out of the telltale signs of cinema was never in vogue. But post Zandu Balm inclusion in a song, be ready for more such songs. 

May be, song writers, who were otherwise a discounted category could come into reckoning as media planners could coax them into writing songs featuring name of brands in a captivating manner. Whatever be the case, DABANGG has created a new frontier in the business of brand marketing as well.

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