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Saturday, February 3

Aap Bhi Taj!!

In the celebrity starved/ craving world of Indian brands, there was one refreshing endorsement that had stood the test of time. That of the tabla maestro - Ustaad Zakir Hussain's endorsement of Taj Mahal chai!

Am a tea drinker who never really liked the product. But was a great fan of Zakir saheb! The endorsement was so apt. Chai has a certain Indian-ness, a certain nazaakat which the Ustaad epitomised with his flavourful presence, his tabla recital and the 'Arrey Huzoor Wah Taj Boleye' tagline.

Of course, age had caught up with the Ustaad. He looked jaded. And so the brand has decided to replace him with the 'now-in-heavy-demand' Saif. Decent choice.

However, I - the non-user of the brand will miss Zakir Saheb, who was among the most recognisable and long-term celeb faces of any Indian brand!

Thinking aloud - Was there a brand story in passing the baton from Zakir Saheb to Saif Ali that the agency didn't fully capitalise.

Does the brand owe an explanation to its loyal fans on the choice of a new endorser?

In an age of intimate conversations with the brand, consensus, interactivity and user generated content was it the right thing to suddenly replace the iconic brand face with the current-heavy-in demand celeb face?

Or is the thought just plain nostalgia drivel!!

11 comments:

FiNK said...

hmmm.. I didnt really get the link b/w Saif and the brand to be honest. except that he's young'ish and popular which makes him ok for lots n lots of different brands if used properly. oh well

btw how did your 'are planners losers' talk go? and we're looking for young smart planners to join if you know of any!

Manish said...

i agree. the celebs have all lost meaning. its the brands that fit into celebs today rather than the other way round...

i wriggled out of the planner/ loser talk...made another one titled 'random thots' :-)

young planners - you know them all!thats the price of being open-source LOL

FiNK said...

he he he.. what up with the merger btw?

the young planners I do know.. none of them are looking to move/ or would fit in with m&c at the mo - we need someone young, but really driven and enthusiastic with relevant advertising experience. i know far more senior planners than I do planners my own age. pls will u give me a shout if you can think of someone who'd fit in (you know me and my boss. and i promise, we have our sane days) or even better, just ask them to drop us a note? thanks!!

meraj said...

even i shall miss zakir saying his 'huzoor' bit.
saif isnt a good choice...maybe they shouldve continued their association with music (while becoming contemporary) by taking the good-looking sons of amjad ali khan or the son of shiv kumar sharma.

Manish said...

yes... I also thot of the sons - amaan, ayaz( did i get the name right) ali!!

they wud have pulled off music and contemporary cool, very well...

good thinking, hasan...

FiNK said...

ayaan ali khan i think. yeah, they're young and doing interesting things... anoushka shankar? rehman?

Manish said...

hey thanks... ayaan it is! they would have been the rightful heirs to the Taj legacy as Meraj said...

but i guess some quali research agency wud have come up with the fit and mainstream acceptance of Saif i guess...

And mainstream wud have tilted the scales...

but with amaan and ayaan - they could have had a unique identity like the one they had...

arrey huzoor they missed the point/ boat! LOL

√úbermaniam said...

I think they chose Saif to mak tea a bit cooler than it is percived to be. I think growth in tea has been a bit slower and maybe that's why they chose Saif - to appeal to the aspirers. I'm not sure Zakir Hussain's sons would have done much for the brand.

Manish said...

amaan and ayaan are not Zakir's sons...they are very cool, comtemporary musicians( 2nd generation)...in fact in some aspects much cooler i wud say than saif!

they represent the 'fusion' and remix' that is new India...

of course its a no brainer - saif is a Bollywood celeb and has a much larger sphere of recognition and appeal. but fact remains that he is reasonably stretched and will have a short shelf life of a few years...

from the outside, i feel the brand was brave to get Zakir on board...had created a music legacy...and therefore had a chance to continue being different...

Not an easy task but worth a try...
But of course its a huge brand and saif undoubtedly is a safer choice!!

Reshma Anand said...

I find this sad in an inexplicable way. Zakir shared a strong relationship with the brand, despite the fact that he had not actively endorsed the brand in the recent past - he was very much part of the residual associations that 'people' (i shall refrain from using the work consumer) had with the brand. When considering the age of an endorser and his relevance to the brand - it is not always enough to look at the chronological age. Zakir is a relatively young ustaad given the fraternity of maestros and yet some one who lends an old world charm and a class to the brand. What was valued by people was also the fact that Zakir has not endorsed (m)any other brands. He word still carried weight and authenticity. Saif, is blue blooded and classy no doubt but is no different from being just another actor endorsing yet another brand. What beats me is the that zakir was still part of the wah wah taj campaign and now there is this sudden shift. Research is not always to blame :) at least not this time I can tell you that for sure !

Manish said...

hey reshma...thanks for posting your comment. cant agree more with the observations. especially the 'sad in an inexplicable sort of way' comment:-)

cheers