It was a fun-filled Friday as Indians woke up to full page ad of Hollywood star Pierce Brosnan endorsing premium Indian pan masala brand – Pan Bahar – owned by DJ Group.
The star of James Bond fame was spotted in a dapper suit holding a pan masala can, with a punchline ‘Class never goes out of style’.
Brosnan, however, is not the first international celebrity to become the face of an Indian brand. From controversial golfer Tiger Woods to Hollywood martial artist and actor Jackie Chan, Indian advertising history is replete with examples of leading brands hobnobbing with foreign celebrities to spike their brand promotion.
We bring you some of the brands and their endorsers:
Tata Motors: Lionel Messi
Soccer great Lionel Messi was recently roped in by Tata Motors as its global brand ambassador to promote its hatchback Zica. It, however, had to be rebranded ‘Tiago’ as it sounded similar to mosquito-borne ‘Zika’ virus that swept through South America, North America and beyond.
MRF Tyres: AB de Villiers, Steve Waugh and Brian Lara
AB de Villiers, the South African all-rounder, was the recent sportsperson to ink an advertising deal with Chennai-based Madras Rubber Factory Limited. Former international cricketers Steve Waugh and Brian Lara too had tied up with the Indian tyre manufacturer to promote its flagship rubber and sporting equipment in the early 2000s.
Xylys watches: Carlos Moya and Saira Mohan
Former World No 1 tennis star from Spain Carlos Moya and Canadian supermodel Saira Mohan were picked by leading Indian watchmaker Titan to promote the Xylys range of watches, one of its flagship products rolled out in 2006.
Bajaj Discover: Jackie Chan
The Kung Fu master took Indian market by storm after he featured in Indian automobile major Bajaj’s TVC back in 2004. With Chan gliding down staircases and performing his trademark stunts on a 125 cc Discover, the ads became quite a rage.
Hero MotoCorp: Tiger Woods
The American pro-golfer paired up with Hero MotoCorp to host Hero World Challenge, a golf tournament sponsored by the Indian automobile major. The ace golfer signed a four-year endorsement deal with Hero Motocorp for a whopping Rs 250 crore starting 2014.
Micromax mobiles: Hugh Jackman
Jackman’s huge fan base ticked Indian mobile handset brand Micromax to claw him as its brand ambassador, with an eye on overseas markets. The X-men star was shown in an action packed sequence fighting off goons with his slim and sharp smart phone.
Homestead real estates: Maria Sharapova
The Russian tennis sensation became the go girl for a Gurgaon-based real estate company, Homestead , according to a report on Business Standard. The former World No 1, who drew flak for her ‘Who is Sachin Tendulkar’ comment, apparently has a tower named after her in the neighbourhood.