Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has topped the chart for celebrity endorsements on television during the first six months of this year, leaving behind not only Shahrukh Khan and Sachin Tendulkar, but also the gorgeous ladies of the silver screen.
During the January to June period, while Dhoni endorsed brands for 24 companies on TV, Shahrukh and Sachin were seen promoting the products of 16 and 15 firms, respectively, according to the Adex survey of TAM Media Research.
Interestingly, Dhoni also left behind many Bollywood actresses, who enjoyed a combined 45 per cent share of the total celebrity endorsements on TV between January and June.
Kareena Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Kajol and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan were some of the most popular Bollywood beauties, who were seen frequently endorsing products in TV advertisements.
According to the survey, Bollywood actors and sports persons accounted for 42 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, of the total celebrity advertisements on TV.
During the period, Dhoni appeared for a host of brands, including Reebok, Aircel, Godrej and TVS.
In July, he had signed a Rs 210 crore deal with Rhiti Sports Management and Mindscapes to manage his long list of endorsements and brand associations for two years.
The deal, the richest in Indian cricket history, surpassed batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar's estimated Rs 180 crore, three-year contract with sports management firm Iconix in 2006.
As per the Adex survey, the top five categories endorsed the most by celebrities included aerated soft drinks, cellular phone services, toilet soaps and shampoos.
The brands which were advertised the most by celebrities were Lux Soap, Pepsi, Airtel, Panasonic and Coca Cola, it said.