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Bollywood scoring big time endorsements

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By: Sunil Noronha

Friday, May 05, 2006

Getting someone whom everybody likes, even better, whom everybody adores, to say to the entire nation or the entire world that they like a product should rationally make everyone go ga-ga over it. That is the logic that celebrity endorsements take place with. If the peoples favourite stars say so then it must be right. But there is no real proof that it really does boost sales. One thing it does for sure is glue the fans to the set when the ad comes. How much the sales boost is affected by it-nobody knows as yet.

The manufacturers of the endorsed products spend a bombshell on their celebrity endorsement tactics. The tab for the companies runs into crores. Is it really worth putting in that much of an investment? One thing it does is add on to the cost of the product. The costlier the celebrity endorsing the product, the costlier, the product is likely to be. All they do is say a few words in screen. Sometimes its just their smile for which the company pays them monstrous amounts of money hoping to get much more from the sales of the product. Some of this return has been realized. Asian Paints has upped 29% in value after Saif Ali Khan was featured in its television ad. Titan watches too experienced a rise in value by 52% with a sales increase of 45%.

Endorsements give movie stars and cricketers a bigger portion of their income than their actual profession does. A new genre of celebrity that has been introduced to the celebrity endorsement market is the small screen cast(s). A reason for this change in celebrity taste is because endorsements regulars like Sachin Tendulkar, Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan and the likes have proved too costly to engage. The reason behind this is that their "engagement" price has gone up. They are the celebrities used to multi crore multi endorsements. Now they have become affordable. And from an honest critics point of view, the next time I see a Sachin Tendulkar advertisement the excitement factor has gone I have seen it before and I don't really want to see it all that bad. I'd rather see a fresh face, a new face.

The fresh new faces now in are Smriti Irani, Satish Shah and Boman Irani from the silver screen. The market was earlier ruled by Sharukh Khan who has deals with Hyundai Santro, Compaq Presario, Pepsi, Sunfeast, Airtel, Emami-Sona Chandi, Dabur Chyawanprash and Lux. Amitabh Bachchan has endorsement deals with BPL, ICICI, Parker Pens, Maruti Versa, Pepsi, Reid & Taylor, Nerolac Paints, Dabur and coke. He has been the biggest benefactor of a Coke endorsement deal gaining a mind boggling Rs. 10 crore from it. Aamir Khan had a Rs. 6 crore endorsement deal with Coca Cola, which put the company into trouble when he went about protesting in support of the NBA controversy.

The ladies of Bollywood have had their fair share of the endorsement industry too. Aishwarya Rai being the queen of them. She has the Coca Cola ad campaign earlier endorsed by Kareena Kapoor. Priyanka Chopra will endorse Pepsi with already Coca Cola endorser Kareena Kapoor.

Eventually, a simple viewers opinion is that if applied with a little rationale is that "fanship" of the actor or actress may make you want to watch the ad. The filmographic aspects of the ad may make the ad's catch phrases or the whole ad itself be imitated by fans of the ad. The ad will be written in the annals of the advertisements that will be remembered for a long time to come. The fact whether the celebrity does the advertisement wont really register as much as the above mentioned aspects.

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