Touted as the biggest release this year which has already generated Oscar buzz,’The Dark Knight Rises’ (TDKR) is also the reason behind a manic shooting spree in Colorado,US,in which 13 people lost their lives yesterday . Its influence is obviously manifold and it has not escaped the notice of ardent marketing professionals who want to make the most of the hype . Special merchandise is one way of keeping the fire burning. The last installment of the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy has seen the bat appear on various merchandise products that range from original apparel to watches and even deals on purchasing mobile phones.
Take for instance the case of the Hysteria store located in Pune,Koregaon Park. While the place stocks both the official,imported merchandise and the licensed ones,owner Manu Singh mentions that prior to the release,the hype motivated many customers coming in for licensed shirts and T-shirts. “They are cheaper than the imported merchandise and are equally authentic as they are licensed products. This was bound to happen as the franchise is huge and has a global fan following.”
Citizen watches has launched an exclusive TDKR line to compliment ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. Katsusuke Tokura,MD Citizen claims that both the watch as well as the superhero represent resilience and toughness. He adds,”The combination will send a strong co-branding message to our customers about both the movie and the watch.”
Given the initial praise that the film has garnered from critics and movie-goers all alike,jumping on the marketing bandwagon might not be a bad strategy for all those who have associated themselves with the franchise. Anthony Bansode,a die-hard fan,recently purchased a Batman Detective Comics No. 27 T-shirt that symbolises the manner in which the hero was introduced in the first book in 1939. He wore the same T-shirt to the morning show of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ on Friday. It is not about supporting the franchise but about associating yourself with it, he says.
Besides T-shirts and sweatshirts,figurines are greatly in demand . “There is a huge craze for the official Batman figures that are licensed from the movies. Our stores in Pune and Bangalore are flooded with inquiries coming from fans,” says Singh. Pepsi has partnered with producers to release a limited edition version of their Mountain Dew called Dark Berry. It is yet to hit stores in India.
Amongst others,mobile giant Nokia is also giving away free Batman merchandise from the movie on purchase of their higher end Lumia mobile phones. FCUK has recently launched a T-shirt collection from the franchise in white,black and grey prints.