I have been trying to collect, glean, comb, forage, rummage, scan, scout:-) stuff on celebrity endorsements and the Future of Bollywood!
In the process, I had sent a set of Qs to many friends I knew...What I had not bargained was the depth of response I would get...A glimpse into the nuanced relationship that people have with everyday brands and celebs...A voice that very often gets sifted out of more organised and formal research...
Here's a rambling from a young friend of mine...His intelligence, his grasp, his understanding of advertising matches any of ours:-)Refreshing...
Hi - guess by now you'd have many responses. So I'll just give you my opinion which I think is far from the median point of view on this subject.
Well, first are there any icons from Bollywood? I guess for me this would depend on how well they do their work - which is to act! Therefore for me SRK will never be an icon because I think he cannot act.
I know there are many who worship him just like there are many who worship Rajnikant. These men have been part of movies that have earned crores and have won awards to fill a small apartment...but the trouble is that in my opinion they have done all this without really acting (again its my personal opinion.)
But yes I agree they are icons, but then again weird things happen in India - ask yourself, would Dhoni be as popular if he looked like Dinesh Karthik even if he played the same kind of shots?
Hmm now the question of celebrity endorsement. I agree with your data - they must work. Afterall its been going on for ages.
But I'll just give you my input. Now just like a Karan Johar movie is bound to succeed even before it is conceptualised. An ad with Hrithik, AB, SRK and Sachin will grab eyeballs too. It cannot be denied. But there in lies the difference, I guess once a celebrity is on board the ad makers are complacent with their work, just like Karan Johar is. I know the Indian audiences will love a Boost ad where AB races a cheetah and emerges victorious, which is only as far fetched as a Karan Johar movie.
Just like many of us are sick of Karan Johar, I'm sick of ludicrous ads that put all these 'icons' to mindless use. Fine - if you want to use them, put some thought into it, come up with something intelligent.
Case in point - Santro, what are they thinking?? The only reason I remember it is because I'm bombarded with it every now and again. If they have all that money and SRK, couldn't they come up with something better?
And what has Cadbury done to a perfect legacy of good ads by this entirely hackneyed and stupid cow ad with AB. On the contrary Aamir Khan (who by the way is my icon) in both Titan and Coke (paanch) was a delight, because that was some ad maker or Aamir himself giving his work due respect. That's some ad I'll always remember.
Internationally the entire Honda campaign concentrates on the cars and comes out with ads which really qualify as art(which is what I would do if I made ads)...GAP used to have all these pretty women in its clothes and lost millions every year till it changed its policy kicked their pretty asses out and came out with a nice series of ads!
okay - that's my take...if you want any more opinions then let me know.
Also I think that any intelligent person will not base his buying decision simply because a cricketer entices him to do so. In fact just to reinforce his intelligence he'll go try something else(probably?)
But intelligent people have hearts and have a taste for music and humour and appreciate art so give them a nice ad with a catchy tune and sensible idea along with a nice product (vvv imp) and they will be lining up before you.
For example I love the Sony ad for its Walkman phone...if I had to buy a phone tomorrow and had the money I'd buy them. And I'm trying to do stupid things like say hello like the European does in the end. And I'm supposedly intelligent(?!) :) and stubborn and too proud and sensible to buy something only because my favourite actor endorses it.
But I guess that's the power of a good ad. Also my father bought the Motorola phone recently - think the ad had a role to play in the decision...his face lights up every time the biscuit falls into the tea cup.
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