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Lights. Camera. Bagpiper.

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India is a media dark market for alcohol brands - product communication is limited to surrogate products, brand extensions (Television) or through mobile. TV has great reach in India but was ill-fit for a mobile-leaning audience, whereas the small screen was highly target-able but lacked impact. 

Mindshare needed to find a media vehicle that would not just deliver reach but also drive impact in the psyche of the consumer. 

After identifying key interests and trends across mediums, the agency realised that one lone topic would not serve to drive the message home due to the varying interest points of consumers. So what then could create the perfect synthesis of visibility and impact, in retrospect the answer seems fairly obvious – CINEMA. 

In India, Bollywood has long enjoyed a special place in the hearts of audiences. People worship their favourite actors and place them on a god-like pedestal. From Rajnikant to Sharukh Khan, the examples of these demi-gods are too many to quote here. But in recent years, regional cinema had grown to bridge the gap between mainstream cinema. 

With over 1,300 films produced between 2014-2015; Marathi movies itself accounted for 100 plus releases. The regional Marathi movie industry had touched 1,100 plus screens reaching over 375 multiplexes. It represented a huge potential in terms of scale and reach without the spill-over in Bollywood cinema.  

To re-establish an iconic whisky brand, Mindshare needed to change the way it told the brand story and Regional Cinema would be the perfect stage to do so. 


Cinema (overall) is a reflection of society’s beliefs, common values. As society evolves, so does cinema. From music to eating habits, the impact of cinema on consumer behaviour has been a constant dynamic. The inherent flexibility of this medium gave the opportunity to seed communication into ‘popular culture’.  

And it did. 

“GURU brought to you by Bagpiper Productions” - a film that was built around the core brand philosophy, allowing for the most non-intrusive brand advertising ever. 

In effect, consumers across Maharashtra state paid to sit through a three hour brand advertisement. 

The storyline of the movie was crafted to reflect the brand proposition - ‘Bringing social change through collective effort”, the film explored a social issue that was resolved by the protagonist’s efforts to bring people together. 

The agency could for the first time measure the success of ‘branded content’ in terms of revenue generated and attendance to cinema halls across the state of Maharashtra. 


Media Support:  

- #TVCInspiringChange: A unique TVC which catered to the brand purpose starring the Actors of the movie 
- #IVRShopPlacement: IVR promotions among trade partners for shop visibility in movie 
- #PRBuzz: Massive PR across print and digital four months prior to shoot 
- #TradeVisibility: Leveraged trade signage for film pre promotion across 60% of alcohol outlets in Maharashtra. 

Trade & Consumer Touchpoints: The agency decided to reach Brand’s key stakeholders (Trade & Consumers) on all possible touchpoints via Money Can’t buy experiences; 

- Location showcase – Two outlets in every city featured in the movie – Trade 
- A Part in the movie – Selected individuals were given the opportunity to be featured in the movie – Trade 
- Visit to the set - 20 Consumers had the opportunity to witness a Bagpiper Scene being shot for the feature film – Consumers  
- Create a dialogue for the film – via contests – Consumers  
- Song Download – Exclusive songs from the movie was made available on the Bagpiper IVR only – Consumers  
- Audio Movie – An innovation 15-minute audio movies were distributed through the Bagpiper IVR – Consumers  
- Message to and from the stars - Consumers had the unique opportunity to send messages to the stars of the movie and get messages back from the stars as well – these messages ranged from thank you to happy birthday. 
- Invitation to various events like; Music Launch, Meet & Greet, Premiere, Post Premiere parties - Trade + Consumers  
- Signed merchandises were distributed – Trade + Consumers. 


- 200% Growth in Top of Mind Recall  
- 170% Growth in Spontaneous Recall   
- 160% Growth in New recruits  
- Total Awareness jumped up by 10 points  
- Declining market share stabilised at 25%. 

All this while 80% of the initial investment was recovered by Ticket Sales & Other Revenue making the movie 'Guru' not just a great piece of branded content but a sustainable brand extension for future.

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Brand Owner:
USL Diageo
Drinks (alcoholic)
September 2015 - March 2016
Media Channel:
Branded Content,Cinema,Online,PR,Retail/POS,TV
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