Bollywood’s 2013 Brand Tales: Out With The Old, In With The New


2013 is here, and with it, comes a twist in the Bollywood brand tales. The mantra here seems to be: out with the old (quite literally!), and in with the new as far as Bollywood’s brand babies are concerned.

This year, the trends have indicated a shift, with most big brands choosing younger faces to endorse their products. Three of the country’s highest paid celebrity endorsers – Sachin Tendulkar, Shah Rukh Khan and MS Dhoni are reportedly being replaced with younger stars in 2013. This well and truly signifies the beginning of a gradual shift in the market.

Last year, Indian cricket skipper Dhoni was among the top ranked brand ambassadors, and reportedly took home a cool Rs 8-10 crore per brand. Reports suggest that leading the Bollywood brand brigade was superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who pocketed as much as approximately Rs 7-10 crore per deal.

This year, younger stars like Virat Kohli and Ranbir Kapoor will lead the ‘brandwagon’, if trends in endorsement deals are to be believed. Also, 40 plus superstars like Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar who still command a huge mass appeal, to say nothing of their unmatched Box office clout; will also dominate the brand endorsements space, say celebrity management agencies.

Anirban Das Blah, chief executive and managing director of CAA Kwan, a celebrity management agency, said: “Among cricketers, currently Virat is the only one who has the potential to replace Sachin and Dhoni in the endorsement arena. If Dhoni gets dropped as test captain, his equity will further fall.” Sachin Tendulkar has since seen his brand appeal plummet dramatically due to his poor performance last year, and more recently after the announcement of his retirement from the one day format.

In Bollywood, SRK has ruled the roost for nearly 10 years, with his only competitor being Aamir Khan (who reportedly charges a higher fee: at approximately Rs 15 crore annually for an endorsement). However, Aamir Khan has not endorsed any brands in 2012.

SRK’s brand kitty boasts of names like Belmonte, Dabur Sona Chandi, Lux Cozi and Linc pens, in addition to marquee brands, including Tag Heur and Hyundai. But his brand equity has taken a beating with his films not being the blockbusters they once were, and several controversies being attributed to him.

Beverage giant Coca-Cola’s decision to sign on Imran Khan and Parineeti Chopra for their mango drink ‘Maaza’ signals the shift towards younger stars. Bunty Sajdeh, CEO, Cornerstone Sport & Entertainment feels: “There is a significant change which will come about this year as a transition from senior to junior celebrities takes place. Ranbir and Imran Khan will be increasingly seen as opposed to SRK.”

Among the leading ladies, actresses like Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Katrina Kaif are among the top faces on the brand endorsement circuit are also likely to face a slower 2013 as the new lot of younger actresses steps in. Manish Porwal, MD, Alchemist, a talent management agency, said, “Among actresses, Deepika and Anushka are knocking on the doors of the top 10. The primary difference between men and women is that women do far more endorsements, while men get paid better per endorsement making their earnings far more.”

What will now be interesting to see, will be the ousted stars’ reactions and remedial measures taken to ensure their brand endorsement portfolio continues to flourish, despite what they may come to view as but a narrow setback to their flourishing brand equity.