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Maruti Suzuki funded ‘Mere Dad ki Maruti’ hits gold

Mumbai,Mar 29 () : Maruti Suzuki has struck gold by co-producing `Mere Dad ki Maruti’. It invested Rs 5 crore and another Rs 2 crore as promotions. The central character in the film is the Maruti car and it immensely helped the auto major who is facing a slowdown.

Cars, drinks and cigars in James Bond films have become a trend later. Y Films, a subsidiary of Yash Raj films, came across the story in which the car played an important role like other characters. It was titled ‘Mere Dad ki Maruti’ (My Dad’s Maruti). Producer Ashish Patil put forth the suggestion to four car majors about co-funding the project and the car of the co-producer would be the one used in the film. Maruti Suzuki decided to drive forward and inked the deal. The producer’s aim was to cushion his investment in case the movie bombed.

Maruti fitted the bill since most car owning families in India were owners of Maruti 800 as their first car. This fact helped the creators. Rs 8 crore was the satellite rights of the film and Maruti paid Rs 6 crore as its share. The budget of the film was Rs 10 crore.

The producers claim that the film is the first film to be funded by an advertiser. To promote the film, Maruti placed advertisement in the telecast of India-Australia cricket matches and the TV show Got Talent.

In the FM radio stations across seventeen cities, it ran a contest and offered Mariti’s Ertiga as the prize. All this cost the car major Rs 2 crore. The movie released on March 15 and in one week it collected Rs 5 crores and till yesterday it stood at Rs 9 crores.

Besides this, Maruti also bought ad spots that featured during the India-Australia series and on India’s Got Talent, radio spots in 17 cities across the country and hosted a contest, which gave the winner a Maruti Ertiga. These additional marketing initiatives would have cost the brand approximately Rs 2 crore.

After its release on March 15, Mere Dad Ki Maruti has managed to rake in approximately Rs 4.5 crore in terms of gross collections in its opening weekend and till date collections stand at Rs 8.12 crore.

In the story, Maruti Suzuki apart from being in the film title, also comes throughout the two hours as the story moves from Maruti 800 to the Swift and finally the Ertiga, bringing loyalty and aspiration towards the brand. A Maruti showroom salesman explains about Ertiga’s features in a scene to the actor coming to buy it.

All these features were incorporated with Maruti personnel sitting on the scripting. The end result is that Eritiga comes out as a hero. The film is directed by Ashima Chibber.