Products in Movies or Movies in Products?

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Product placement is an advertising technique used by companies to SUBTLY promote their products through a non-traditional advertising technique, usually through appearance in film, television or other media. (Source: Business Dictionary)

But wait, lets re-word that a bit…

Product placement is an advertising technique used by companies to BLATANTLY promote their products by shoving them in your face through a non-traditional advertising technique, usually through appearance in film, television or other media. In fact, at times these products enjoy more screen time than some of the characters in the movie.

Did you see what we did there? Well, this brings us to the topic of the day.

C’mon lets be honest here for a change.

We saw James Bond. We wanted an Omega watch and an Aston Martin.

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We saw Top Gun. We went gaga over Tom Cruise’s Ray Ban aviators.

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We saw the Italian Job and even the most macho male craved a Mini Cooper.

In short, these act as true blue influencers in our lives. And when Hollywood can do it, why would Bollywood stay behind. We make crude copies of their movies, so why not their advertising methods. Its deemed to be cool after all.

Of late, we’ve seen a steady influx of such products in movie, evident so much that more often than not it seems that we’re watching a 3 hour long commercial. Well, not technically but nonetheless. So lets take a dig at some recent ones which made us go ‘Oh! So you want me to buy this product just because an actor is using it? Duh. Its 2014 bitches!’

I’m an avid movie watcher – Aamir Khan, Good, Bad, Ugly, Uday Chopra, Ram Gopal Varma, I watch them all. So here are five instances which kind of went over the top with this:

1) I bought tickets for Mary Kom. I felt patriotic. I felt great that India’s sportswomen are being honoured. But voila, I was wrong. What was apparently a biopic/movie dedicated to one of India’s most talented female boxers turned out to be one in which I was introduced to so many products that I lost track of why I had come to watch it in the first place. Top, bottom, right, left – they were everywhere. It was like a plague. At some point of time during the constant bombardment Priyanka Chopra blurts out,”Hum sab player log bhi iss des ka namak khaya hai“.

Well, there wasn’t any patriotism involved here. She was simply promoting Tata Namak – Desh ka namak. I recollect a pain reliever, an ice cream brand, Usha fans, Sugarfree and so on and so forth. Well played Bollywood. Well played!

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2) ‘Papa main wadda hogya. Bult de alawa kuch ni launga. Kudiyaan nu aahi pasand hai Bult to bina izzat ni.’

Well this is exactly what one of my Punjabi friends said while convincing his dad to buy him a Royal Enfield Bullet. The trend was started in the movie Bobby starring Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia wherein Enfield motors launched their bike named ‘Rajdoot’ through the movie. Overboard eh? But then it still works. Remember, Farhan Akhtar (Girls? *drool*) in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Katrina Kaif (yes boys, we know you want someone like her on that bike with you) in Zindagi na Milegi Dobara. And if you’re looking for luxury then we saw a rather ‘constipated’ Aamir Khan riding a BMW bike in the disastrous Dhoom 3 – Woh chala sakta hai toh hu kyun nahi? And then we had Ranbir Kapoor who seems to be fond of his kind of two wheelers – the TVS scooty in Rocket Singh and the classic Avon cycle in Barfi! Others might also remember Mahindra’s scooter in 3 Idiots but then we were interested in the movie more to even take notice. Yenywayy! Moving on.

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3) Dont you just hate it when movies are made just to advertise products. I’m sure producers/directors don’t. I happened to come across this comedy flick called ‘Mere Dad ki Maruti.’ Umm! Nuff said. But let’s elaborate that further. According to the mvie the Maruti Ertiga is a dream car for one and all. Fathers, Daughters, Sons, Mechanics, Cops, Thugs. Yes. EVERYONE. Throughout the movie someone or the other is buying the Ertiga, stealing the Ertiga, painting the Ertiga, fixing the Ertiga, renting the Ertiga, making out in an Ertiga….err, Surely gave me vertigo!

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4) Oh yes! How can we forget exotic location placement in movies. The year was 1995. The movie ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ aka DDLJ. And Switzerland stormed into the scene as an Indian couple’s favourite honeymoon spot. Arre bhai, aakhir Raj (Shahrukh Khan) and Simran (Kajol) fell in love in the Swiss Alps. Ab bade bade shehron mein aisi chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hai but does that mean that we take it seriously? Well, as it appears, we sure have. Last year I did get up atop Mount Titlis and well I saw a hoarding of DDLJ and a cut out of its protagonists with hordes of our Indian brothers and sisters, uncles and aunties, posing with them. Sigh! Leh-Ladakh in 3 Idiots, Spain in Zindagi na Milegi Dobara, Manali in Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani..Phew! The list is endless.

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5) And the last but not the least. Songs. Fevicol se. Munni Badnaam hui. Oh boy! Doesn’t really leave you with much to say.

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You might just say that I’m slightly biased for having left out SRK keeping in mind the number of products he’s advertised in movies – Lays, Ray Ban, Nokia and this and that. But hey! I said I’m a Bollywood buff. You can surely excuse me for this. After all, he is the Badshah Marketo-wood..err Bollywood. Peace!

srk

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