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Big B for CL T20 & KBC 4 – creating distinction or confusion?

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Big B for CL T20 & KBC 4 – creating distinction or confusion?

There is no denying that Amitabh Bachchan has great brand value, which is why many companies don’t think twice before bringing him on board to endorse their brands. He endorses everything – from health products, chocolates, pens, hair oil, automobiles, clothing brands, Pulse Polio campaign to India’s biggest passion – cricket.

Bachchan is endorsing the Champions League T20 and has been very visible on television and print media. In his inimitable style for the launch promo, he proclaims that T20 is where the best cricketing teams get to fight, hence `Ab Hoga Asli Muqabla’. Following this, with the current advertising where there is a lighthearted take, he pulls the leg of a person who supports the opposing team and says how T20 is not for those who take time to build up ‘josh’.

On the other hand, Sony Channel has launched a deluge of promos for its upcoming property ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ (KBC) 4. Incidentally, Big B returns as host of the game show and this is Sony’s chance to hit big time with the show and reclaim its glory. In the promos like the ‘Akbar Ka Baap’, Big B tells the viewers how no question is insignificant. This is again done in his special style, which is part humorous and part preachy, something similar to the Champions League promo running currently. Does this mean that both the promos – similar in some ways with the same celeb and similar in tone – can create some confusion for the properties or won’t be able to create a separate identity for the two separate properties as one could be interchanged with the other? Or is it that like so many products that Bachchan endorses, these too would be able to create a niche for themselves without being confused?

Responding to exchange4media’s queries, Sudha Natrajan, President and COO, Lintas Media Group, replied, “Yes, AB has been promoting big time for both the properties, but he has always done that. We have seen him endorse a multitude of diverse brands ranging from ICICI Bank to Dabur honey. Consumers/ viewers are used to seeing him do this. So, I don’t think there would be confusion in their minds. Also, both properties are very different from each other.”

So clearly, people are used to seeing one celeb endorse various products and this would not really create any confusion despite both debuting around the same time.

Kishankumar Shyamalan, Investment Director, CTG, Maxus, too, endorsed this view and said, “I don’t think Amitabh’s presence on both CLT20 and KBC would create any confusion in the minds of viewers. In my mind, that’s because the messaging of CLT20 has Amitabh in its core compared to KBC. The KBC promo has the viewer (who is also the prospective contestant) and incidents around his life taking the pivotal role and Amitabh just beautifully familiarising us with the show using the punchline ‘Koi bhi sawaal chhota nahin hota’. The CLT20 promo, however, has Amitabh all over the place trying to urge/ threaten/ plead to the viewer to experience the ‘muqabla’, while Gibbs/ Symonds/ Ganguly all get wasted and forgotten in the process. Hence, I’m assuming both audiences will get the messaging clear.”

On the other hand, Anilkumar Sathiraju, Associate Vice President & Head, South, Mudra Connext, was of the opinion that these two properties won’t be able to create separate identity, and he had another valid reasoning to it. He said, “I am not too sure if the properties will be able to create separate brand identities. More so, I don’t think there will be a mix up in my opinion. Because KBC is too big a property and is certainly bigger than Champions League (CL). Since the concept of CL didn’t work last year and more so, it was just after IPL. This year, they made it a point to do as much as they could in terms of leveraging a brand ambassador like Big B. I hope using Big B for CL works for them. Honestly speaking, there is absolutely no comparison between KBC and CL. Lastly, in my view, IPL and KBC audiences could be similar, but a CL audience would be core cricket enthusiasts.”

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