Stars with Midas touch Filmi moms deliver the goods Star couples: double the value
India’s biggest
celeb endorsers
Here’s everything you ever wanted to
know about celeb endorsements – why
your favourite filmstar or cricketer gets
crores for peddling everything from
toothpaste to luxury cars. Find out how
much they earn for it too!

Good actors are dangerous. They can, with seemingly minimal effort, make you laugh, weep, burst into a song or simmer with outrage all on cue. And when they pop up on your TV screen or in your magazine to sell you a product, that’s when another act begins. You’re taken in by the “just-between-us” intimacy and the belief that a bit of their stardust is within reach – if you’d just open your wallet.

In India, Bollywood stars, closely followed by sports stars, peddle everything from Rs 5 fairness-cream sachets to Rs 25 crore luxury apartments. Their dazzling smiles and stamps of approval fuel India’s Rs 2,000-crore celebrity
endorsement market.

Scroll down to read more

Age is all the rage

Older, more established names command much higher prices than fresh faces – perhaps because their appeal spans many more generations (and many more consumer demographics). The pantheon of Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni are paid, on average, roughly three times more than the 10 stars immediately below them.

But it seems there will be changes in the top tier in the coming years. Tendulkar, who made his first ad appearance in 1989, when he was just 16 years old, to promote Johnson & Johnson’s Band-Aids, is ready for a new innings. Many advertising gurus believe that superstars such as Amitabh Bachchan may not go on for many more years. But many believe these celeb endorsers may just change their positioning to suit their new avatars better. Experts see Tendulkar and Bachchan as an attractive proposition for mature category brands such as banking and financial services.

The power of youth

Meanwhile, we’re hardly short of young faces and bright sparks to promote products to a younger, more brand-savvy India. Cricketer Virat Kohli has already set new benchmarks when he recently inked a Rs10-crore-per-annum deal with sports goods giant Adidas. “After Yuvraj’s entry into the mature league of cricketers, only Kohli has that roguish charm in Team India,” points out Navonil Chatterjee, vice president at the ad agency JWT, which handled a previous Nike campaign with Kohli. Though Tendulkar continues to be with Adidas, the company is using younger cricketers too. The recently retired cricketer has been upgraded from youth icon to ‘Happiness Ambassador’ by Coca Cola.

Though they’ll never admit it on record, most brand managers believe that putting younger faces to their products allows their promotional messaging to be naughty; something that just won’t work with an older face, no matter how sparkly his velvet jacket.

Ranbir Kapoor is seen as the boyish rogue who can sell anything – a fizzy beverage, a car, a cellular service. Nirupam Sahay, president of Philips Lighting, says they were already seen as a “solid, dependable, reliable” brand. “We wanted to shift that focus slightly to ‘dynamic, contemporary and reliable’.” Enter Ranbir Kapoor, dancing to Saara Zamaana, making LED lights cool.

But youth, for all its merits, carries the element of risk. There’s no way of telling where one star will be 12 months from now. Remember the glut of ads featuring Anushka Sharma just after she got famous? She broke into the top 10 list of celeb ambassadors, but features nowhere this year.

Big names, big bucks

What makes local and multinational business reach out to Bollywood to boost sales? Top marketers list several reasons. “Corporates want all possible efforts to promote their brands and grab the customer’s mindshare,” says Tadato Kimura, Sony India’s marketing head. The product benefits from positive association, the famous face influences recall value, and a star’s own traits (Bipasha’s fitness, Karisma’s classy domesticity) often parlay nicely into the product’s.

When Frooti decided to come up with a ‘big bang’ campaign, they chose Shah Rukh Khan. The company claims that it “took the brand to places where it’s never been before and widened its consumer appeal.”

Think about it: if you had to choose between 11 brands of cooling herbal oil, wouldn’t you trust the one endorsed by a septuagenarian superstar?

26% the growth celebrity endorsement witnessed in Jan – June 2013 compared to
January – June 2012

Source: AdEx India, a division of
TAM Media Research

Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor and Kajol contributed to more than 13% share of the celebrity endorsement pie during January – June 2013

Source: AdEx India, a division of
TAM Media Research
Stars With Midas Touch
Katrina Kaif

USP: Popular with the men (and women). She looks both Indian and international, and is sexy as well.
Endorsement graph: Going up! Ranks number one in terms of airtime on TV.

Is she still rock steady? Her fee went up from Rs 4 crore to Rs 8 crore in the last one year.

When did she become so big? After featuring in prominent roles in films like Raajneeti, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Ek Tha Tiger, she has established herself as a commercially successful actress.
Shah Rukh Khan

USP: Super successful, charismatic, a consistent leader.

Endorsement graph: Going up! Endorses the maximum number of brands with a decent mix of luxury, super premium and mass labels.

Is he still rock steady? Very. The brands associated with him are very loyal.

When did he become so big? Khan’s endorsement graph has matched his career’s. Both have stayed consistent, from his earlier
unconventional, negative roles in Darr and Baazigar to his romantic image in blockbuster films like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Dil To Pagal Hai. He’s the consummate charmer, and a relatable superstar as well.

Salman Khan

USP: Muscular body, stylish, straightforward, has that slightly rude attitude.

Endorsement graph: Going up! From number five, Salman has moved to third position as the volume of TV ads featuring him go up.

Is he still rock steady? Health issues and pending court cases do hold back some companies from signing long-term contracts.

When did he become so big? After building his body and
going shirtless! After the release of Dabangg, Wanted and Ek Tha Tiger, Khan’s arrogant attitude
and style became attractive to brands that wanted to sell everyman products with an edge.

Aamir Khan

USP: Selective and a perfectionist.

Endorsement graph: Going up! From nowhere, Aamir has moved to the fourth position, because
the volume of TV ads featuring him is going up despite the fact
that he is the most expensive celebrity.

Is he still rock steady? Very much so.

When did he become so big? With landmark movies like Lagaan, Rang De Basanti, Taare Zameen Par and 3 Idiots, his brand fees and popularity went up

Kareena Kapoor

USP: Attitude, looks and pedigree.

Endorsement graph:
Going down! From number two, Kareena has moved to the fifth position in terms of ad airtime on TV.

Is she still rock steady?
She is, but there is much more competition now from other actresses.

When did she become so big?
After her successes in challenging roles like Chameli and Omkara and then the whole Size Zero episode.
Saif Ali Khan

USP: His nawaabi background attracts sophisticated brands.

Endorsement graph:
Going down! His TV ad volume has come down to rank six this year against rank four last year.

Is he still rock steady?
It depends on the number of hit movies he will have in the future.

When did he become so big?
He rose to prominence with his performance in Dil Chahta Hai, and later with films like Race, Parineeta, Being Cyrus and Omkara. Khan is self-deprecating and funny, but still sauve enough to sell paint and chips.
Virat Kohli

USP: Young, successful, aggressive.
Endorsement graph: Going up! He recently inked a Rs 10-crore per annum deal with Adidas, which crossed the benchmarks set by Sachin and Dhoni.

Is he still rock steady?
Currently he leads the pack of sports celebs.

When did he become so big?
When he acquired his spikes, tattoos and swagger. Add to this his aggressive, consistent performance on the field. Being the skipper of the victorious Indian team at the 2008 Under-19 Cricket World Cup bought him instant fame.
MS Dhoni

USP: Successful skipper, mature and intelligent persona.

Endorsement graph:
Going up! His share of ads on TV is increasing as the number of brands in his kitty goes up.

Is he still rock steady? He dominated the cricket celebrity scene before Kohli. Dhoni is still a good choice for mature brands.

When did he become so big?
After his successful captaincy. He won matches across different formats, especially the World Cup.
Amitabh Bachchan

USP: Mature, trustworthy, successful, iconic.

Endorsement graph:
Going down! This is owing to his declining health and the availability of young faces.

Is he still rock steady? His health is a concern; youth-conscious brands may not go to him anymore.

When did he become so big?
Bachchan’s always been a favourite. He took things up a notch after he received appreciation for his roles in Paa, Black and Sarkar among others. His appeal stems from the fact that he comes across as honest and humble, as seen in the interactions with contestants on Kaun Banega Crorepati.

USP: Proven track record, successful homemaker.

Endorsement graph:

Is she still rock steady?
She represents a sophisticated, mature club of ‘mothers’. She is perfect for home appliances, kiddie products, health and anti-ageing brands.

When did she become so big? Despite being a critically acclaimed actress, Kajol is super selective. The ad world knows that audiences will notice her presence in ads.
Filmi moms deliver the goods
Between September last year to this year, many brands including Dabur (Odonil), Kellogg’s, Oral-B, HUL (Vim) and Bournvita have signed celebrity mothers like Karisma Kapoor, Kajol, Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla and Sakshi Tanwar. “Gone are the days when just a model could help brands stand out from the massive clutter. They need a celebrity or at least a well-known face to differentiate their products,” says Prahlad Kakkar, a brand expert. “A woman with a family can easily relate to these mature, celebrity mother faces, which can boost the recall value of the brand and influence purchase decisions.” Endorsement fees for mommies can range from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 2 crore.

Earnings according to industry estimates. All figures for the period between January and June 2013
How are they different?
They impress homemakers instantly; are trustworthy, mature and have responsible face value; also their recall value is very high.
Star couples: double the value
Kitchen and home products generally attract celebrity couples. Recently Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan were reportedly paid a whopping Rs 30 crore for their new advertisement for pressure cookers. Apparently, they beat Saif-Kareena and Akshay-Twinkle to bag this deal.
        Earnings according to industry estimates. All figures for the period between January and June 2013
For feedback write to or