Does your brand ride on crutches ?

How many of us know Hugh Jackman. But of course people who follow wolverine franchisee would laugh at this question. But what is the population of such wolverine fan club and how many of them fancy a phone which is not an apple, galaxy or a Lumia series.

Quite possible micro max intends to reposition itself and Lowe delhi office could have possible answers to why Hugh Jackman as a brand endorser for micro max. But this blogpost is not on that.

Elementary question which I want to ask is why take brand endorsers ? Ranbir kapoor, Priyanka chopra, Farhan akthar , Katrina Kaif, virat kohli, and now Hugh jackman. Are all these brands so weak that they need to walk on crutches of star power of above mentioned celebrities.

Leave aside mobile phones category, look around you, each brand in india seem to ride on crutches of star power. Take this for example – travel portal launched with Sachin Tendulkar, jewllery store Kalyan jewellers have a package deal with Amitabh  Bacchan  and Ashwarya.  Prestige kitchen appliances has Abhishek and Ashwarya, insurance and ask me take help from Amitabh and so on.

I am not against celebrity endorsements but I often wonder does it not point to either of two scenarios

A) the brand is so weak in its fundamental offering that it wants consumer to focus on star power and defocus on core brand promise.

B) consumers are so naive that they are blind in following celebrities and ape their preachiness and fall for the star power and not dig deeper into what they stand to gain from the brand besides a feel good factor of being like a celebrity.

More I observe consumers , I am getting to believe that it is the latter. Brand or marketers are only using the weakness shown by consumers in star power and hence investing in having endorsers. Though I do not have any research but I think that it might be a better deal for marketers to invest in celebrity as against investing in fundamentally strong brand promise. As developing a fundamentally strong brand promise would need higher planning, infrastructure and process control.

Globally good brands are built not on celebrities but brand promise. Apple on snob factor, Rolex on power of Wimbledon as a sport ( star players is an after thought with Rolex), Samsung on performance etc.

I think Indian market is yet evolving and it will take a while for consumers to ask what the brand promise is and not get confused with star appeal, as celebrity will change its promise depending upon the money being offered by the brand.

Till then use your brain, take a call on your purchase of a brand basis how does it add value to you and not how could it add value to Hugh jackman.


  1. Richard Baker · October 28, 2013

    There will be a move away from celebrity endorsement for it’s own sake is seen under a more cynical spotlight by consumers ( one day hopefully )…I know of nowhere else on earth where a well known actor endorses cement….does the public believe that Mr Bacchan actually knows about the pros and cons of the chemical make up of cement and truly cares one jot about the product he endorses? No…of course not….and I would say he has much the same feeling about everything else he endorses….but the cheque is nice isn’t it? It’s time for India to get a ‘healthy’ dose of Western cynicism ( if there is such a thing ) and not let themselves be so unsubtly manipulated in this way….and calm down too on the hero worshipping of the stars….I can name quite a few very famous ‘actors’ here who can’t actually act ( they can dance a bit, but that’s different )….so what are they really good for? Shifting products off the shelves I guess….shame the ‘quality’ of the product can’t speak for itself…..

  2. Devesh · June 10, 2014

    Very Well said.

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