What makes Virat Kohli-Anushka India’s #1 Power Couple?

01 Nov,2019


By A Correspondent


The Mumbai-based Indian Institute of Human Brands (IIHB) has unveiled its study on ‘Power Couples’ in India. Called the Sparklers Report, it features a study of the following duos: Virat-Anushka, Deepika-Ranveer, Ranbir-Alia, Akshay-Twinkle, Abhi-Ash and Saif-Kareena… what it bills as “the hottest, and commercially-most-in-demand couples in the country”.


Sandeep Goyal

Said Dr Sandeep Goyal, veteran adperson and Chief Mentor of IIHB: “Power Couples are the new phenomenon in the brand endorsement business with many brands trying to sell aspirational and experiential products to millennial couples who are starting families, using famous couples as the ones to emulate. But there is no empirical research so far on what these Power Couples actually represent or how they are seen by potential audiences. At IIHB we decided to track each one of these trail-blazing couples over a set of 24 important brand attributes,” adding: “There is also an interesting throw-back study on Romantic Couples of Bollywood since Partition, something never researched before”.


Here’s the report:

Who are Power Couples?

A Power Couple is a couple who is famous and accomplished; and together seen to be successful and influential in society. More importantly, each of them is individually successful and influential. Together they are the epitome of what anyone would desire or want in a relationship. Hence, admired and emulatable.

Where did the term Power Couples come from?

It was during the FIFA World Cup 2006 that David Beckham and Victoria Caroline Adams (also known as Posh Spice from her singing days as part of The Spice Girls band) were a toast of the celebrity circuit. With media coverage of the World Cup including the wives and girlfriends (WAGS, as they are called) of the stars, David and Victoria Beckham became the original power couple for Indian celebrities to take a cue from. Today, the term is on steroids in Indian media.

Why did it take so long for India to have its own Power Couples?

The Power Couples Report gives interesting perspectives on how Bollywood and cricket could’ve given us these aspirational sparkler couples much earlier but a long list of famous celebrity couples … Dilip-Saira, Sunil Dutt-Nargis, Rajesh Khanna-Dimple, Amitabh-Jaya, Nawab Pataudi-Sharmila, Dharmendra-Hema, Rishi-Neetu, Gavaskar-Marshneil, Dhoni-Sakshi, Sachin-Anjali, Azhar-Bijlani … somehow fell short of the ‘famous-together’ threshold despite being well-known.

The IIHB Report earlier this year researched current ‘Sparklers’ and the six listed above  – Virat-Anushka, Deepika-Ranveer, Ranbir-Alia, Akshay-Twinkle, Abhi-Ash and Saif-Kareena – were shortlisted for a more detailed study. Kajol-Ajay Devgn, Shahrukh-Gauri, Madhuri-Dr. Nene and Priyanka-Nick were also researched but their score together remained below acceptable threshold.

What are the key attributes to Power Couples?

Trustworthy, Respected, Fun, Distinctive, Charming, Different, Stylish, Progressive, and MFEO (Made-For-Each-Other) are some of the key Image, Human and Personality brand attributes that add value to Sparklers. The IIHB study covers 24 such attributes.

Who are the winners?

On select attributes:


Rank Couple Score
1 Virushka 72
2 DeepVeer 70
3 AksTwink 65
Rank Couple Score
1 Virushka 79
2 DeepVeer 78
3 AksTwink 74


Rank Couple Score
1 AksTwink 74
2 DeepVeer 72
3 Virushka 71


Rank Couple Score
1 RanbirAlia 81
2 Virushka 81
3 AksTwink 80
Rank Couple Score
1 DeepVeer 72
2 AbhiAsh 70
3 AksTwink 68


Rank Couple Score
1 RanbirAlia 76
2 Saifeena 75
3 AksTwink 74


Without a doubt, Virushka and DeepVeer top score across most attributes, with AksTwink a respectable third despite being much older. Ranbir-Alia despite not being married (the only unmarried couple in the Top 6) do well too, especially on being seen as ‘Different’. Saifeena are ‘Stylish’ (after all he is a Nawab and she is true-blue Bollywood royalty) but Abhi-Ash who trail on most attributes are seen to be ‘Traditional’.

Pointers from the study

:: All the couples are bunched together fairly close, yet have attributes that differentiate them, hence can be leveraged by brands.

:: Virushka and DeepVeer are very close in imagery … they top score across the attributes.

:: AksTwink are ‘Straight Forward’ and ‘Like Us’, hence most relatable. Brands need to leverage this in communication.

:: Saifeena are ‘Up To Date’ and ‘Stylish’ but ‘Arrogant’.

:: Abhi-Ash are the laggards of the survey. That may not be hard to explain … careers of both partners are largely in doldrums.


“So far very few Power Couple ads have been exceptional … the best, without doubt being the Maanyavar ad of Virushka. But most others including DeepVeer (Lloyd’s), RanbirAlia (Lay’s) and Saifeena (AirBnB) don’t really sparkle on creatives. Advertisers and their agencies need to carefully match brand attributes to those of the celebrity couple and maximize what the duo best stand for”, says Dr. Goyal.

The Romantic Couple survey in the later part of the Report shows various couple combos over the years with the honours going to:

1950s    : Raj Kapoor and Nargis

1960s    : Guru Dutt and Waheeda

1970s    : Amitabh and Rekha

1980s    : Amitabh and Parveen Babi

1990s    : Shahrukh and Kajol

2010s    : Ranbir and Deepika


Amitabh Bachchan is paired amongst the best in two decades with two different heroines. India’s most famous romantic hero Rajesh Khanna doesn’t make the grade despite famous pairings with Sharmila Tagore, Asha Parekh and Mumtaz.


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