Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s film ‘Animal’ has emerged as the second-highest-grossing Bollywood movie globally in 2023. Starring Ranbir Kapoor in the lead role, it has amassed approximately Rs 220 crore worldwide. Despite the director’s known penchant for intense films like ‘Kabir Singh’ and ‘Arjun Reddy,’ the movie has generated significant anticipation, leveraging the existing hype effectively.
Featuring an affluent family, the film has paved the way for exclusive collaborations with luxury brands. The star-studded cast includes Anil Kapoor, Rashmika Mandanna, Bobby Deol, Prem Chopra, and Tripti Dimri.
The movie showcases an array of luxury vehicles such as Range Rover, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes Benz, Skoda, Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, and Ford in almost every scene, with Range Rovers prominently highlighted among the fleet. Action movies include car chasing, daring speeding stunts and fighting sequels. According to Pranay Anthwal, founder, Happy Lion, “Many a times, these are not integrations but done purely by the maker to establish character or scene. And three Rovers remarkably portrayed the wealthy lifestyle of the protagonist.”
Hamsini Shivakumar, brand consultant, strategist and semiotician, Leapfrog, agrees with the above statement. She adds, “Brands haven’t disclosed any integrations. Producers would have chosen these to add more prestige and authenticity to the film. Obviously, people will be excited to recognise known brands like BMW and Rolls-Royce.”
In the film, the protagonist gifts a customised Rolls-Royce to his girlfriend. He asks the brand team to copy the exact colour of the bruise mark he gave on her neck. “Though this looks scripted by the film-makers, they might face consequences for this bold move”, added Anthwal.
Shivakumar on the other hand feels that it is just a part of the impossible fantasy heroism portrayed in the movie. “The idea that you can get a customised colour car for somebody might actually add cache to the brand.”
Clothing and Accessories
Ranbir Kapoor kicks off the film donning Ray-Ban eyewear, setting the tone for the entire movie. The screen gleams with the presence of Rolex watches, symbolizing prosperity for the protagonist’s family. Amidst the visual splendor, viewers might have overlooked the presence of Tom Ford, a high-end apparel brand, contributing to the lead actor’s ‘alpha-male image’ as he opts for a globally renowned brand even for undergarments.
Throughout the film, Macbooks, iPhones, and Airpods take center stage, enriching the affluent conversations. Additionally, Aviation headphones from Global Business Headsets also make a cameo appearance.
The Unexpected Collaboration
The film subtly integrates the ‘Make in India’ initiative by showcasing a 500-kilogram machine gun entirely manufactured and assembled in India, reinforcing the concept of Atma Nirbhar Bharat, as mentioned by the actor. Audiences anticipated intense action in the movie, and the director fulfilled their expectations with this scene, evoking a sense of patriotism. However, the scene faced online mockery for allegedly being computer-generated imagery (CGI). Suresh Selvarajan, the production designer, clarified that the gun was meticulously crafted from genuine steel, taking a dedicated period of four months to construct.
As Anthwal explains, “Atma Nirbhar Bharat mention could be a hat tip to the mood of the nation. Through this, the makers want the fundamental elements of the storyline to resonate with a broader audience.” Apart from these, Swiggy got a verbal mention. Bridgestone, a tyre and rubber company, flashed for a few seconds in a village scene, connecting the storyline of an extremely wealthy family with links in the rural area.
Animal has been the talk of the town since its release and the brands included align with the script. It endorses brands that embody action, male heroism and, most importantly, wealth. Shivakumar suggests, “The brands included are not specifically women-focused. If there were some feminine brands like skin care whose audience comprises mainly women then they might have faced some backlash.”
Additionally, the brand integrations in the movie seem unpaid and organic. There is an opportunity to turn them into successful collaborations.
“Marketers can’t share script and big brands wouldn’t partner based on minimal information. Studios should bring in lawyers and get NDA’s (non- disclosure agreement) signed to officially collaborate with brands. And if one big movie does this and shows a case study for how big brands collaborated and benefitted in terms of reach and sales, then it might become mainstream,” Anthwal adds.