Regional influence on the world of ads
What is the one common factor between actors Ravi Kisan, Nusrat Jahan, Samantha Akkineni and Mimi Chakraborty? They are all popular regional celebrities, who have become a favourite among several brands.
Actor Samantha Akkineni recently appeared in Myntra’s festive campaign, actor Ravi Kisan too has been roped in by food delivery startup, Bharat Eat. Joy Personal Care has signed actor Mimi Chakraborty. Earlier Pee Safe got actor Nusrat Jahan on board. Though most ad gurus and brand strategists agree that it’s a cost-effective marketing strategy to have a glocal connect and target semi-urban areas, some feel getting national celebrities on board and dubbing the ads in regional languages may make the advertisement lose it essence in the regional market.
Brand strategist Harish Bijoor explains, “The moment you appoint a regional brand ambassador, you emote with his followership. If a Telegu star is appointed, every Telegu speaking person across the globe would emote with it. So, it helps you to establish an emotional connect with the followership of the regional brand ambassador.”
Moreover, it also depends on the strategy and the geographical location where the brand needs to grow. Brand guru Jagdeep Kapoor says, “A lot more depends on which geographical area you want to target, and how it is relevant to the regional language and culture. Sometimes it can be cost-effective and sometimes it could be more expensive than getting a national celebrity on board.”
Ad filmmaker Pinaki Bose believes a known face in the region works best. He says, “If a brand wants to communicate with the audience in the south, a face more familiar in the region is picked. It depends on the brand — who they are talking to, are they trying to enter a new market or is the advertisement for a particular occasion or festival such as Onam, Durga Puja or Diwali, etc.”
On Bengali actor Jahan’s recent association with Pee Safe, Vikas Bagaria, founder, says, “Being a regional actor, we wanted to leverage her popularity in the semi-urban areas, and connect better with the masses. She has a connect with the people of West Bengal. She has a Facebook follower base of 11 million, of which half are from Bangladesh. Her popularity in Bangladesh is also, therefore, to our advantage, as we are going to be available in that country soon.”
Roping in a national actor and dubbing advertisements in regional languages lead to losing the flavour of the ad believes ad filmmaker Prahlad Kakkar. Sharing an example from the past, he shares, “There were ads where actor Shah Rukh Khan was filmed for the Hindi-speaking belt, and they [brand] found huge resentment among south Indians when the ad was translated and dubbed in Tamil and Telegu. So, Saravanan Sivakumar, popularly known as Suriya, was brought on board for the ad campaign in the south.”
So, are the expenses different for roping in a regional celeb than a national celeb? Kakkar says, “Expense is not the consideration. Engagement is the main point.”
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