For teenagers abroad, a J’Lo self-designed perfume and lingerie or Britney’s cosmetics may create a rage; but when it comes to India, consumers seem to be reluctant to acknowledge the creative talent of silver screen celebrities.
Be it the perfume designed by the ’70’s heartthrob Zeenat or beauty tips from today’s Madhuri; Celina’s jewellery or Shahrukh’s Tag Huer – all have failed as far as sales or brand promotions are concerned.
Then, what about the multi-crore endorsements? As advertising professionals observe, the great Indian consumers prefer to see their hero promoting a brand, but they shy away when it comes to his own. “Celebrity endorsement in selling a product does wonders in establishing a brand and effects sales to a great extent, though when stars put in their own creative input it does not click with the consumers,” said Arvind Wable, Executive Director, FCB Ulka.
The trend of stars adding their own creative inputs to products is slowly catching up in India. However, unlike West, inputs by stars in our country have a temporary impact on consumers. Take for example, Shahrukh adding his own creativity to Tag Huer has been a short-lived phenomenon. “Brand ambassadors work best in our country and look at products like L’Oreal which have Aish as brand ambassador, is doing well, points out Wable.
Echoing Wable’s viewpoint, Ashutosh Khanna, Vice President, Grey Worldwide, recalled Zeenat Amman launching her self-designed perfume almost a decade back. “Today, the product is seen nowhere,” he said. Speaking on conditions of anonymity, an advertising pundit observed: “Big B inputs in designer suits, in any ways won’t have a great impact on consumers who are interested in Reid and Taylor.”
Similarly, when Aamir Khan’s ‘thanda matlab Coca Cola’ was a big hit, Madhuri’s Beauty Secrets failed to cast a spell on the consumer. As Indian advertising industry responds: celebrities are the most successful brand promotion tools as far as it is not their own creative product.