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Not just Pierce Brosnan: International celebs who became face of Indian brands

business Updated: Oct 07, 2016 17:07 IST
Pratik Prasenjit, Hindustan Times
Pierce Brosnan

(L-R) Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and Steve Waugh(PTI Photo)

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.

(L-R) Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and Steve Waugh (PTI Photo)

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.

Golfer Tiger Woods (right) with Hero MotoCorp’s Pawan Munjal (PTI Photo)

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.