Disney India signs up with over 40 brands for latest ‘Star Wars’ film

By Lata Jha, Live Mint, 12/15/2017

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The Walt Disney Co. India has signed 44 brand association deals for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the eighth instalment of the 40-year-old franchise which opened to rave reviews across the world last week. The film is slated for release in India on 15 December.

Brand experts aware of the deals said, on condition of anonymity, that two of the brands—Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus and automaker Tata Motors—have together spent Rs36 crore in acquiring the rights from Disney and carrying out brand promotion activities.

Menswear firm Celio, toy brands Hasbro, Hamleys, Lego and Funskool, e-commerce company Amazon, online fashion retail firm Myntra and publishing company Scholastic are expected to generate nearly Rs200 crore in retail sales, by selling licensed Star Wars merchandise.

“Star Wars has become a worldwide popular cultural phenomenon that is enjoyed beyond the big screens. As The Last Jedi releases on 15 December (in India), we felt it was the perfect opportunity for us to bring about a range of experiences for fans to relive the Star Wars saga and make it a part of their everyday lives,” said Sanjeet Mehta, executive director, consumer products, Disney India.

The deal with OnePlus is being seen as the most dominant in the marketing campaign. The company is launching a special 5T limited edition series of smartphones, besides giving away 10,000 complimentary tickets to Star Wars fans. “We are excited to join the force and dedicate the exquisitely designed Star Wars Special Edition to the OnePlus and Star Wars fans in India as a part of the three-year anniversary celebrations,” said Kyle Kiang, head of global marketing, OnePlus. “We’ve worked hard to refine every last detail and are confident that fans will appreciate the homage that we have paid to the iconic Star Wars saga,” Kiang added.

Hasbro, which has brought out a collection of lightsabers (a weapon that is part of the narrative), action figurines and a Star Wars Force Link Starter Set (a wrist accessory that emits sounds and dialogues), is bullish about being associated with the movie brand. “At its core, Hasbro is an organization that prides itself on the stories it tells consumers. The same ethos is a part of the Star Wars world too,” said Bhavesh Somaya, country manager, Hasbro India.

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