NEW YORK A new agency is banking on hip-hop tie-ins and concert-tour promotions to help international advertisers leverage the Bollywood movie industry to gain a foothold in India's huge consumer marketplace.
Cashmere Agency, a Los Angeles-based events and online marketing company, has set up shop in the country to facilitate a cross-cultural exchange for the entertainment community. Cashmere Asia is based in Mumbai. Karan Wadhera serves as managing director.
Its first project is with the new Bollywood film, Singh Is Kinng, that will hit movie theaters on Aug. 8 and stars Indian actor Akshay Kumar. The hip-hop tie-in involves Snoop Dogg starring in a music video alongside Kumar.
The music video was produced by CashmereAsia.com and will be released globally online on Tuesday.
"This is a mutual exchange of culture, pop culture, music and entertainment. For us, at the same time, via these creative partnerships, it creates business opportunities for brands," said Ted Chung, chairman of Cashmere and also the president of Snoop Dogg's Doggy Style Records.
This particular video contains several merchandise integrations, as Landy Cognac is also featured, along with Snoop's Rich and Famous clothing label.
Wadhera said a main focus for the new shop is to "offer a unique and creative opportunity for international brands to enter into this burgeoning market." The strategy extends beyond music video and includes concert tour sponsorships, and the shop is in talks with an undisclosed "major brand" to back Snoop Dogg's upcoming tour of India.
L.A.-based Rona Mercado, vp, marketing and strategy at Cashmere, said mobile is integral to the shop's overall strategy: "Asia has the advantage of mobile because of technological advancements. Here it's a bit limited. There, we will be able to utilize mobile as a big marketing tool and promotional outlet."
Wadhera also underscored that every major consumer products company is now in India, including Unilever and P&G: "We are working to bridge the gap from creating, producing and developing interesting, marketable concepts and content to show advertisers the opportunities to attack a market that is growing at unbelievable levels and that has a massive propensity to spend. At the end of the day, that's what it comes down to."