Diamonds and pearls are certainly a celebrity’s best friend. The belief is strengthened with ‘Extraa Innings’ hottie Mandira Bedi being chosen as the ‘Asmi Woman of the Year’ and sporting 11 diamonds.
The branded jewellery segment has been growing significantly. If the domestic market is sized at Rs 500 billion then the branded jewellery component is pegged at around Rs 15 billion and growing at a 15 per cent rate per year.
As per the industry estimates, the ad spends can be estimated at Rs 65 crore. Diamond Trading Company (DTC), the house of Asmi, Nakshatra, Arisia and Sveni, is leading in ad spends with budgets in excess of Rs 30 crore followed by Tanishq at Rs 20 crore.
Recently, (DTC) had released the much talked-about Nakshatra ad campaign featuring Aishwarya Rai as the brand ambassador. The campaign was developed by JWT and shot by international ad filmmaker Tarsem. A budget of Rs 10 crore was earmarked for promoting this collection.
On the reason for using celebrities so extensively in campaigns, Devika Gidwani, Director, DTC, said: “Nakshatra is a brand that is traditionally Indian and yet contemporary. To do justice to jewellery like that, we needed a brand ambassador who would be extremely beautiful, contemporary yet Indian in her persona and looks. India’s one of the prominent icons of fashion and glamour world, Aishwarya Rai matched the brand perfectly, as she imbued the brand with her style, beauty, grace and modernity. With Aishwarya, Nakshatra is effortlessly transitioned from a traditional product to a contemporary classic.”
On Mandira Bedi endorsing Asmi, she says: “Mandira epitomises the different strengths that an Asmi woman is identified with – independence, confidence and goal-oriented, at the same time, she possesses all that is synonymous with the essence of a woman – passion, femininity and beauty. Most importantly, Mandira has the inner fire that Asmi symoblises and thus she is the most apt choice as an ambassador for the brand.”
Tanishq, the other major player in the branded jewellery segment, also believes in using celebrities but only if the need be. V Govind Raj, General Manager, Tanishq, says: “We believe in using celebrities when the situation demands. Tanishq has used a fair amount of celebrities but only if it is the right fit. We have found that in such cases, there’s a good amount of recall.”
On how they used celebrities to endorse the brand, he said: “During the Femina Miss India contest, the crowns were designed by Tanishq. We roped in the past Miss India personalities like Neha Dhupia, Nafisa Joseph and Yukta Mookhey to endorse the brand. It was a fit because we tapped the occasion as the opportunity to promote the brand.”
However, there are players who prefer to opt out of the celebrity endorsement platform. For instance, Suashish Diamonds (Ishi’s) and Swarovski. “It certainly isn’t necessary to use celebrities to endorse your brand. There are far more innovative ways one can communicate to the audience. We do not use celebrities and if at all we do in future, it would be only when a celebrity would communicate the message more effectively.”
Shiv Kumar, Country Head, Swarovski, said: “We don’t use celebrities for our campaigns because we believe that our product speaks for the brand itself.”