Actor Shah Rukh Khan, Guest of Honour at the IAA Silver Jubilee Summit, brought the house down with his humour, made an impassioned plea for treating women with respect and summed up his journey of 25 years as a brand ambassador with deep insights while speaking at the summit at Kochi on Thursday. He began with saying that he would read out from a speech he had delivered in 2003 at the Ad Asia festival in Jaipur, because “recycling is eco-friendly”, and went on to do a brilliant comic commentary on his life with all the brands he endorses. The actor was honoured with 'Advertising Icon Award' at the Summit
The actor thanked the industry for “what I have earned from you and what I have learnt from you”. “I’ve learnt that being a brand is not a one-time achievement... but a life-long process. To remain at the top of the game and strive for excellence is a tough task,” he said. “Being able to connect with the audience to understand what inspires them today and how it could change tomorrow is critical. Just like this conference states, ‘change has to meet the future today’, because tomorrow might be too late. When I work on a film, it has to cater to an ever-changing audience two years from now mostly. Initially in my career it came naturally. I had nothing to lose so I could jump from being a lover boy to a killer in Baazigar. It worked - it was edgy, it was novel and above all it was disruptive. But as one grows - in stature, like I have or in age, like you guys have! - one needs a balance. It’s when you start thinking of target audience, market research and the entire 360 degrees around a brand. Somewhere, success on the old formula makes you complacent and you start taking success for granted, and the concept of your target audience becomes more important than your own excellence. At that very stage, you need to be more creatively disruptive,” he added. “Creating a brand that can change with time is the only truth of brand-building. In fact, you all have taught me how to be a flexi-brand.”
With the way communication is changing, the next big media star won’t be from films or TV, but from the digital world, the actor observed.
Asked whether he ever regretted endorsing any particular brand, the actor retorted, “No, as long as I did it, it is OK.” On a serious note, he explained that he takes care to find out as much as he can about the brand before taking on an endorsement deal, and ensures that it is legally sold in the market.
The citation presented to Shah Rukh Khan on the occasion by Pradeep Guha, Summit Chairman & Area Director, IAA Asia Pacific and Srinivasan K Swamy, President, IAA India Chapter and VP - Development, IAA Asia Pacific, recognized him “for being the most loveable link between Bollywood and advertising”, and “for being the world’s biggest movie star, India’s biggest brand with amazing connect to the common man, all the while retaining the committed title of not just the Badshah of Bollywood, but the Badshah of Brands.”