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Growing relevance in endorsements

Growing relevance in endorsements
Highlights

There is no denying in the fact that the advertising industry has evolved a lot over ages. From cattle branding to long newspaper advertisements and...

There is no denying in the fact that the advertising industry has evolved a lot over ages. From cattle branding to long newspaper advertisements and now intelligent product placement and feature films, the industry has seen and acted on possibilities to better address the consumer. Which of course is the necessity at a point when there are numerous brands offering the exact same product/service. Consumer persuasion and engagement has undergone a drastic change; thanks to the ever-evolving market, communication relevance is only increasing with each passing day.

Among other things that have evolved (from copywriting to designing, and treatment of products/services), endorsements have gained a decent respect for relevance over time. Let us take the classic case of today’s hottest celeb - Virat Kohli.

At a time when Virat is ranking on Forbes list of the richest sportsmen in the world, it is obvious to notice a lot of brands approaching him. We all know he is one of the best and most dynamic cricketers India has seen so far. But is that the only reason? We say no. It is the peculiar character of Virat that makes him attractive. The moment we talk about Virat Kohli, we get the image of an aggressive, loud, and intense champion with hysterical energy.

With an image like this, it is obvious of brands like Audi, MRF Tyres, and Puma to sign multi-million deals with the champ. So much so that Puma signed Virat Kohli for a whopping Rs 110 crore as soon as the celeb cricketer concluded his contract with Adidas; smart move there Puma. So is it just about money and net worth? No. It is about relevance. Today’s brands know that consumers of today are not just looking for famous celebs to gain trust a product/service, they are looking for a relevant source and credibility. The reason why you would not see Virat Kohli instead of Amitabh Bachchan in a Swachh Bharat ad.

It is the type of influence they carry that makes all the difference and brands are understanding that. However, there are instances when brands are not so conscious about their celebrity picks; you can say they do not do their homework before signing a celeb. And to bring back the balance of relevance, celebs take the initiative of backing off. A classic example is of Virat Kohli himself signing off with cola brand Pepsi, reasoning that he would not endorse a product he does not consume himself. This is taking endorsements seriously.

However, this does not guarantee that the brands will stand out and break the clutter. The core still remains the story that they are telling their consumers. Do they want to see the celeb in the same setting that they are well aware of? Maybe yes. But the questions brands need to ask themselves is whether their audiences will be interested in knowing a lesser-known side of the celeb. In a nutshell, surprise them.

This takes our attention to the ongoing campaign by Manyavar, which shows a rather different, and humble side of the celeb cricketer. Sporting a kurta, Virat is seen on a rather emotional front alongside Anushka Sharma, rather than the otherwise aggressive mode tossing balls to the boundaries. Is this something people would want to see. A definite yes. Manyavar has definitely done a great job in breaking the clutter in celeb
endorsements.

By: Tushar Kalawatia

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