He is just three films old. But Arjun Kapoor’s popularity already seems to be bringing endorsement deals his way. In his first ad campaign, he is touted to be replacing India’s highest ranked cricketer, Virat Kohli. Although an official announcement is yet to be made, sources confirm that Arjun is being signed by a garment brand that Virat used to endorse.
Experts, however, aren’t surprised. Ad guru Prahlad Kakkar says, "If a star’s films don’t work despite good performances, his demand goes down. Similarly, if the Indian team isn’t performing well despite Virat’s good showing, such things will happen."Other brands too are replacing established names with newer faces. So, Parineeti Chopra bagged an ad deal replacing Juhi Chawla; and Alia Bhatt is now the face of a beauty brand that earlier had Priyanka Chopra.
Film-maker Sanjay Gupta evaluates that "Today, 60 per cent of our population is under 22, and a majority of them love cinema. So, everything is becoming youth-centric. So, brands target this age group with newer, younger faces."
Interestingly, even the Khans, the big guns of Bollywood, and therefore, of the ad world, have made way for fresher faces: Farhan Akhtar and Deepika Padukone now endorse a cola brand that was earlier associated with Aamir Khan (in between, they had also roped in Varun Dhawan, Sidharth Malhotra and Alia for their summer campaign). Similarly, Salman Khan has been replaced by Hrithik Roshan in another soft drink campaign.
"It’s a natural transition. Sometimes, a star might be too busy, too costly, or simply not popular enough. Plus, brands always want fresher faces that the youth identifies with," says trade expert Taran Adarsh.
But do all actors have a certain shelf life in the ad world? "Not really, but it depends on a lot of factors. And change is part of the process. Sometimes, a stars’ popularity goes down and, in other cases, a brand ambassador might outgrow a particular brand and want to move out," says Manish Porwal, managing director of a talent management company. He also adds that the frequency of change "depends on the kind of brand. A skincare or soft drink company will always keep changing their stars, but others, like a bank or a car manufacturer, might stay with a star for a long time."