Ramdas Shenoyy gives insights on celebrity endorsements and some challenges.
The recent Sourav Ganguly’s heart attack in Kolkata has given a great opportunity to take a dig at Fortune Cooking oil and his claim for it being a healthy oil. Sourav Ganguly is the brand ambassador of Adani Wilmar’s Fortune rice bran oil.
When brand ambassadors or celebrities are used for claiming a certain benefit of the product, it becomes a nightmare for the brand manager and the PR machinery is thrown into the boxing ring.
Getting one of the best captains in the Indian Cricket journey was not a bad choice but the challenge now throws one more question as whether brands need to look at other criteria like health checkups to validate the claim. It is like few months back when there was lot of media commotion about a certain actor or actress using narcotic drugs, there was a social media debate on whether they should be allowed to endorse brands. Most of the times, when you don’t have a great brand strategy the short cut is to use brand endorsements using celebrities.
The challenges in using celebrities
- A celebrity who aligns with the brand value
- The celebrity using your own brand and not that of the competitor
- Celebrity avoids scandals and
- Celebrity doesn’t fall sick – specifically in case of a health brand/benefit
Globally you would have seen challenges with brand endorsements, some major heart attacks which the brand faced. David Beckham when he was endorsing Bryl Cream for hairstyling and he actually got his clean-shaven head look. Sharon Stone was endorsing Christian Doir and she credited the earthquake in China to their bad karma, which put the brand in the spot or closer home Aamir Khan and the Snap deal episode where he spoke about intolerance or Remo Dsouza for Aditya Birla Health Insurance or when Amitabh was asked by a schoolgirl on why he endorses a product which her elders were labelling as poison. Somewhere it is a double-edged sword where sometimes the brand gets attacked and sometimes the endorser.
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