An overdose of Kareena Kapoor?

31 Aug,2012

By A Correspondent


(c) Perfetti Van Melle India

Some time back it looked like Priyanka Chopra had gone on an overdrive with her brand endorsements; and now it looks like it’s Kareena Kapoor’s turn. She has just been roped in to endorse Philips’ hair care range. This development comes close on heels of the announcement that she is being signed to endorse iBall’s mobile phones. Then there is Head & Shoulders’ new ‘namaste’ campaign with beau Saif Ali Khan that is being aired on the TV currently. Besides these, she already endorses Airtel, Sony Vaio, Vivel, Alpenliebe Choco Eclairs, Lavie, Boro Plus, Mahindra Duro, Anne French, Lux, Pepsi, Globus, Citizen, Sangini Diamonds and few others.


So what is it that makes Ms Kapoor such a hot pick for brands? Her popularity as a style icon and being one of the most recognizable faces for the consumers, is definitely is a pull. So like any celebrity who rules the endorsement brand wagon when at his/her peak, Ms Kapoor seems to be doing the same. However, the question is, whether there is an overkill of Kareena Kapoor for brand endorsements and should the lady now go slow rather than mint money when the sun (her popularity) is shining?


Manish Porwal, Managing  Director, Alchemist said that it’s given that female celebs will be used heavily for personal care category, hence we see a lot of Kareena, Priyanka and Katrina endorsing these categories. He added: “However, the change today is that female stars are being used for non-FMCG categories, hence we see Kareena endorsing i-Ball, Mahindra Duro and even Sony Viao.”


He also pointed that the heroines have a lesser shelf life than their male counterparts, so we do see them going for lesser brands and more days or more brands and lesser days. He said: “I don’t think Kareena Kapoor has gone on a signing spree all of a sudden. The truth about endorsements inIndiais that it is heavily skewed towards celebrities, especially those in the movie business.”


Talking specifically about Ms Kapoor and her visibility, Harish Bijoor, brand expert & CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc, said: “Yes, there certainly is too much of Kapoor, Sharma and Chopra altogether on the small screen. When brand endorsers endorse more than two brands at a time on television, there is a lack of credibility and distinction between brands, appeals and values. There is a brand-endorser promiscuity going around in the market, and this is a disease for sure. We need a bigger menu of star-faces that endorse diverse sets of brands.”


He however feels that the brands that Kareena represents use her well. She is fresh, sleek and fits brands that want to appeal to groups that seek sleek and fresh. Kareena does not however work equally well with the broader mass of the population.


Mr Bijoor cautions though: “It is important for Kareena to phase out one endorsement deal before taking on another.”


When bringing a celebrity on board, the brand should think about the fit and not just rope in the flavour of the season, which is usually the norm. Alpana Parida, President, DY Works feels that there is lot of vanity branding in case of Ms Kapoor which is not appropriate. She said: “There has to be an alignment between the personality of a brand and that of the celebrity who is brought in to endorse it. In Kareena’s case it’s not been true in few cases. She is definitely not the girl next door, so she could be used for products that want to portray aristocracy or exclusivity.” Giving an example of good use of a celeb in recent times, Ms Parida points towards the Aliva ad featuring Vidya Balan which portrays her in her on-screen avatars, thus making it relatable.”


With so much of Kapoor and brands, one thing that comes to the mind is that has she left behind the males in this race and emerged as the lead in celebrity brand endorsements? To this, Mr Bijoor, said: “That is a good sign. I do believe we need to break this gender inequality in Bollywood and its more important commercial avatar of ‘advertisingwood’ as well. Female stars firstly need to be paid as well as male stars are in advertising endorsements.”


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