Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Do Celebrity Endorsements make sense?

Product : A chocolate
Actual Ad 1
A Indian movie mega-star sharing screen space with a bovine creature talking about movies.
Imagine Ad 1
A very small kid talking about how he feels when he thinks about chocolates
of this brand it to the strains of Sinatra crooning away to glory in the background with his parents looking on fondingly.

Product : A mobile phone
Actual Ad 2
A lady speaking on her mobile, but because a person next to her doesnt see the mobile, thinks she is speaking to him and makes a fool of himself.
The point being highlighted here is the size of the mobile.
Imagine Ad 2
The above mentioned illustrious mega-star bragging about his sons marriage on the mobile being marketed.
Well I could give flight to my imagination and come up with innumerable such instances where star power can or has come to nought while advertising for goods for the Indian consumer.
I'm also sure many of you will come up with instances where a Prahlad Kakkar or a Piyush Pandey might have used the stars of this subcontinent to sell products to us in a manner which we shall remember fondly.
Before digressing any further, the point I'm trying to make is Indians buy products not becuase of their personal likings for a celebrity endorsing it but becuase he/she thinks the product makes sense to shell out his/her hard earned moolah for it.
Just because a cricketer washes his dirty linen in a particular brand of washing machine, would the Indian consumer troop into a shop and take the washing machine home?
Or take the instance of a leading lady using a mosquito repellant to enhance the acoustics of her house so that she could give audience to her nth suitor, does this encourage you to buy the repellant to save your family from dengue?
Well some might agree that these are instances of bad advertising rather than diminishing the rationale behind celebrities endorsing products, I might be tempted to agree.
But the agreement will be restricted to my conforming with the judgement on the quality of the ads.
Products sell in India because of a few critical points:
1) Utility
2) Affordability
3) Longevity
Celebrities can restrict the consumer to watching the ad and probably highlighting the brand value in the subconscous of the end user but cometh the hour cometh the economics of the user.
Imagine this situation:
Shopkeeper : "Sir which air conditioner would you want to buy this summer"
Average Indian Consumer 1: "I want the air conditioner in which Dhoni's hair flays about, infact my mother mistook him for Aishwairya Rai in the ad"
Average Indian Consumer 2: "Gimme that one I saw in the ad, the one which was taking bragging bout using less power, can it also run without power??"
Hope you are getting the picture......
PS: All original ad ideas mentioned in this atricle are the IPR of the author, only the highest bidder will be given entertained for the rights, and the new ad should feature Abhi-Ash......

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