With The Help holding on to the top spot again, there is little to be said about Hollywood product placement at the US box office (click here to read our product placement overview of The Help). So let's look to Bollywood, where the film Bodyguard just set domestic records for opening day.
The Indian film also happens to be packed with loads of non-Indian product placement.
A remake not of the 1992 Hollywood Kevin Costner film but of an earlier Malayalam flick, Bodyguard opened on Aug. 31st and raked in approximately 200 million rupees ($4.5 million), the biggest ever box office opening in India's history.
In the title role (as a bodyguard named "Lovely") is Bollywood megastar Salman Khan, whose co-star and (antagonistic) romantic interest is actress Kareena Kapoor. But Khan has more than human co-stars. Bodyguard is packed with prominent product placements, from high-end autos to mosquito repellent.
Audi's Q7 lands plenty of screen time alongside the stars. It's an arranged placement by Audi that the brand's India PR team has gone to lengths to promote. Audi India recently tweeted "Don’t forget the catch the Audi Q7 starring alongside Salman Khan in Bodyguard."
It's no surprise Audi would prize the placement in such a popular film. Even though Audi has seen 93 percent growth in India since January, sales have recently leveled off, and hooking new customers across market segments is imperative for the brand's continued success.
Another brand proudly tweeting its role in the film is Tupperware. Yes, Tupperware. As 58% of the American storage brand's sales now come from emerging markets, India is a prime target. Tupperware is even supporting its placement in the film with standard 30-second TV commercials, in which Khan can be seen wearing a Ralph Lauren polo shirt:
Not many scenes pass without a BlackBerry brand device showing up. This shouldn't be a surprise given BlackBerry's need to bolster sales in India, and Khan's dual role as offscreen BlackBerry pitchman. The star was the highlight of the June unveiling of the BlackBerry PlayBook.
Not to be outdone by her co-star's meshing on off- and onscreen promotions, Kareena Kapoor is found in the film hauling around, logo facing out, her Sony Vaio notebook. Kapoor (surprise) has represented Vaio since 2009.
The one product placement for which Khan and crew could not be bought off? The "brand" of bodyguard in Bodyguard.
Khan apparently turned down hefty sums from various branded security services in India, insisting instead on wearing the "Tiger" logo of the security firm that employs his long-trusted bodyguard, Shera.
Going further in this little publicity stunt, Khan's real bodyguard Shera has become a prominent marketing strategy for the film.
Not only was Shera included as a co-star in a music video (below) for the film, but also he has been interviewed extensively about his 15-year relationship with the star, telling reporters, "If anyone fires a bullet at him, I will stand in front of it and sacrifice my life for him. I love him to that extent."