Monday, February 14, 2011

Super star ! - So what ?

I recently read a blog on whether celebrity endorsements work, which made me ponder about it in context of Kerala as a market. Keralites have cared two hoots for celebrity endorsements ever since I could remember.  I don’t think I’ve heard anybody buying something just because a celebrity has been endorsing it.

Off hand I could recollect Mohanlal in Mohanlal’s Taste buds, Manappuram Finance ; Malabar Gold ( Hey, wait a minute, all the products start with an ‘M’ ). South Indian Bank starring Mammootty riding a bullet or a Harvey or whatever it is. Now, whoever wanted to buy curry powder or bank with South Indian bank  just because they are endorsed by Mohanlal & Mammootty ?

Do celebrity endorsements blindly help in top of the mind recall ? I think of Melam or Mohanlal’s Taste buds when I think of curry powder ? Nope, I guess Melam  or Eastern wins hands down any day. Go pick a celebrity chef( Yes, we do have some in Kerala as well ) for endorsing a curry powder. Who cares if the company belongs to Mohanlal himself . Is it mandatory that he should be there on the cover?  What about Mohanlal in the Pankajakasturi ad ? ( Something without an ‘M’ at last). Mohanlal’s  love for Ayurveda is well known, hence the endorsement for Pankajakasturi  gels in perfectly well. Does Mammootty walk in to south Indian Bank for cash deposits/withdrawals/customer service ? why on earth should I feel that I would be treated like him if I decide to bank with South Indian Bank ?

Now turn to the JoyAlukkas ad featuring Madhavan , the quintessential romantic heartthrob of the screen. You could easily connect with the ad and him in wanting to be The Man, all waiting to shower his lady love with that pendant regardless of your depleted bank balance.

Celebrity endorsements work perfectly fine as long as the image and expertise of the celebrity complement the product or brand.  It’s an advertisement for the product/brand after all and not of the celebrity.

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