Bollywood has taken over the ad world. But, with stars now endorsing everything from designer wear and beauty products to gadgets and hair oil, questions are being raised about whether they are risking over-exposure and lack of credibility.
Studies show that film stars accounted for 80 per cent of the endorsements on TV in 2009, with sports stars taking up just 15 per cent. Leading Bollywood actors promote 10-15 products a year, making more than R 4.5 crore from each deal on average. According to a recent survey, certain actors earned more than R 140 crore each through endorsements in the past five years.
Explaining the craze
The latest endorsement deal to have made headlines is actress Sonam Kapoor’s alleged R 3 crore-contract with a cola brand. "Everyone just wants to make money. It’s plain greed," says Anirban Blah of the firm that manages actors Ranbir Kapoor and Genelia D’souza. The celebrity endorsement market in India today is pegged at R 800 crore annually. "It’s because Indians are star crazy and Bollywood’s reach is unparalleled," says Rajnish Sahay, CEO of Percept Talent Management.
How much is too much?
Brand consultants are starting to voice concerns that in the rush to sign deals, stars as well as the brands they endorse may end up losing their credibility. “This could be disastrous to the entire string of brands they are associated with. It may be seen as a sign that they don’t really stand up for anything,” says Kiran Khalap, a senior brand consultant. Advertising guru Prahlad Kakkar says in such cases, it is the brands’ fault if they rush to get a celeb name that does not fit the product. “Ultimately, it is the brand that suffers. But, advertisers are too lazy to think about brand values,” he says.
Same old faces
Consumers seem to have had enough, too. “I can hardly tell one SRK ad from another! They all look the same,” says Bhairvai Gossain 22. “There is no brand connect anymore. We should have fresh faces in ads, celebs are monotonous,” says Jatin Khurana, 25.
Stars and the Moolah
In 2009, 80 per cent of the brand endorsements were given to film stars and only 15 percent to sportspersons.
Leading actors earn over 4.5 crore per year in endorsements
According to a recent report, top stars earned R 140 crore each in the past five years from advertisements. The celebrity endorsement market in India pegged at nearly R 800 crore annually. Actress Kareena Kapoor boasts of 45 per cent of the total Bollywood endorsements. The latest deal signed by actress Sonam Kapoor is reportedly for R 3 crore.