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Tequila firms eye Bollywood, massive Indian market

September 28, 2012

Watch a Bollywood movie in the near future and you may recognize the scenery – or at least spot some familiar alcoholic brands.

Representatives of the state government, the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) and the National Chamber of the Tequila Industry (CNIT) visited Mumbai, the heart of the Indian film industry, on a trade mission this week, with the aim of promoting Mexico’s national drink.

They offered Jalisco’s Tequila Trail as a filming location and pushed for tequila brands to be advertised through product placement in Indian movies. But such a marketing strategy will require strong investment, they were told.

Scenes of Indians downing shots of the agave-based spirit will not come cheap, according to Gayathiri Batra, CEO of the Kleos Entertainment Group, part of a conglomerate that controls over 65 percent of the film industry in Mumbai.

“Tequila has a great opportunity in India, but you have to invest,” Batra said, suggesting a four-week promotional campaign would cost from 250,000 to 300,000 dollars.

India is considered a potentially strong market for high-quality tequilas. With 1.2 billion inhabitants, it is the world’s second most populated country after China.

Alcohol use in Bollywood movies was found to have a direct influence on the drinking habits of India’s adolescents in a study conducted earlier this year by the World Congress of Cardiology in Dubai. Students aged 12 to 16 who were most exposed to alcohol use in Bollywood movies were found to be 2.78 times more likely to have tried alcohol than those who were least exposed.

Bollywood is the world’s largest film industry, producing over 1,000 films a year and exporting them to over 100 countries, making Indian cinema an ideal medium for advertising.

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