Actor Salman Khan’s verdict has taken the country by storm.. The verdict has also resulted in brands which have the actor as ambassador relooking at their association with the actor. It is estimated that Rs.200 crore is riding on the actor in terms of brand endorsements and charges an estimated Rs.4-5 crore a day for endorsements. He currently endorses Revital, Yatra.com, Thums Up, Chlormint, Suzuki Motorcycles and Wheel, PN Gadgil Jewellers, Astral Pipes, Relaxo Hawai, Dixcy Scott.
One of the biggest brands which Khan endorses is the Coca-Cola brand ‘Thums Up’ which yesterday issued a statement saying that they were evaluating the next step. Khan has been associated with Thums Up since September 2012 and was estimated to media reports to be around Rs.7-8 crore for a year. This can easily said to have increased into higher double digit figures as of today.
Salman Khan had taken over as the brand ambassador of Thums Up from Telugu actor Mahesh Babu who had been the face for the brand for a short time. However, Babu in 2012 was said to be kept on board as the brand ambassador for the southern markets. Prior to Babu, Akshay Kumar was the previous brand ambassador. Since he came on board the brand filled a void that was left behind when Kumar left and has come to be well associated with the brand. If the brand indeed decides to end their association with Khan then the question remains who will replace him.
According to a TAM AdEx report on celebrity endorsement released at the end of last year Salman Khan was at No.3 spot in the top 10 list of celebrity brand endorsees and had a 4% share of the market from Jan-Sept 2014. He was only beaten by actors Deepika Padukone and Kareena Kapoor each who had a 5% market share. The others on this list include Virat Kohli, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, M S Dhoni, Abhishek Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan and Pulkit Samrat.
Thums Up being a ‘macho’ brand would look for a male role model. Out of these, cricketer Virat Kohli and Ranbir Kapoor are already brand ambassadors for competitor cola brand PepsiCo. Kapoor associated with PepsiCo since December 2013 and at that time was said to be charging Rs.10-11 crore for a one-year deal. Kohli on the other hand is estimated to have charged Rs.6 crore in 2013 for brand endorsements annually which would have increased since then. While Indian skipper M S Dhoni was the brand ambassador for PepsiCo and is a brand ambassador for another beverage brand Boost.
Abhishek Bachchan on the other hand has not endorsed any cola brand. Saif Ali Khan has endorsed the PepsiCo brand Lays and Parle Agro brand Appy Fizz. Another actor which has been an endorser for beverage companies is Hrithik Roshan. The actor was formerly associated with Coca-Cola, however in 2013 he was signed on by PepsiCo as the brand ambassador for Mountain Dew. Roshan was valued in terms of brand endorsement at $43.2 million in 2014 by US consultancy firm American Appraisal. Mountain Dew was endorsed by Salman Khan prior to 2010 which is when his contract ended.
Another actor which has been top on the list of beverage companies in India is Shah Rukh Khan. He was the former brand ambassador of Pepsi for a long time and then shifted to the Coca-Cola brand Sprite for a while. Recently he has become the brand ambassador for Parle Agro brand Frooti.
Aamir Khan had been formerly associated with Coca-Cola for a while, however post the ending of the association he has not associated with any beverage company. He was recently roped in as the brand ambassador for ecommerce company Snapdeal for an estimated Rs.15-20 crore.
With many of the top actors already associated with various cola and beverage brands, the brand (Thums Up) is left with few top celebrity options to choose from currently. An option could be that they may choose to keep this position vacant until an opportunity arises where one of these celebrities contract ends and would be a fit for their brand.