|The CEAT co-branded advert for Piku|
That scene where Irffan and Deepika discuss about "90 saal ke bacche ko bhi adopt karna hoga" chomping down a Priya Gold Snacker. Deepika gets ready for the wedding, and the camera zooms into a SENCO Gold Jewellery box, as she picks up her earrings. Or the Amul Ice-cream during lunch, Amul Milk boxes in the fridge and dining table. The CEAT Tyre workshop where they stop during the journey for some repair. The Mitashi TV at their home that plays a Sony SET Max Xtra Innings advertisement. SYSKA bluetooth devices and Power Banks that come in use during the long journey to charge their devices. The Parachute Hair Oil Deepika uses when in the Kolkata. Or the Red Label Tea packet while they sip a cup of tea.
|The Priya Gold Product Placement in Piku|
Anyways, how many is one too many? As a movie, it makes complete sense to plug in brands. The saved promotion costs for the movie, given most of the brands associated with Piku did co-branded commercials or painted the town Piku with hoardings (like SENCO in Bangalore); or did co-branded ads in newspapers - like CEAT today; make it a no-brainer decision for the producers.
But as a viewer, you end up feeling 'cheated' as me and my bunch of friends did, during the movie - and by the time the second half of the movie started, we were groaning when the camera slow focused on a product placement for the heck of it.
|One of the Sony Vaio plugs in the Bhai starrer - Bodyguard|
And when the placements get one too many, and instead of one brand having a few memorable inserts, there are 15 brands all getting a fleeting mention here and there; which means that the purpose of the placement is more or less lost. Like the 8 brands that lined up for placement in the visuals of the viral Kolaveri di song (Aircel, Supermax, Emami, Parachute, Audi, Air Asia, Vasanth & Co, Lawman Jeans etc) Yes, the brands can still do co-branded commercials like Syska did, or release a Piku product line like Priya Gold did. But sadly what started off as a non-intrusive way to plug in your product into the theme of the movie, and hence better re-call with the audience, is now going the "Lets-kill-the-Golden-Goose-while-it-lasts" way.
If you still have your doubts, just ask people who walk out of Piku, how many brands they remembered from the movie. One or at best two?