A new survey has ranked Amitabh Bachchan as the number one celebrity followed by Sachin Tendulkar and Shah Rukh Khan.
Conducted by Hansa Research, the survey ranked celebrities on the basis of their recognisability and likeability. The findings of the survey come at a time when Bollywood is seen to be on a roll having delivered hits such as Bunty Aur Bubly and Parineeta this year.
According to the survey, Bollywood stars are not just more popular but also more liked than stars and celebrities in any other field.
The survey, titled ‘Celebrity Track’, that was given the final touches less than a fortnight ago, has indicated a distinct liking for six Bollywood actors — Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Kajol, Aishwarya Rai and Hema Malini. Among the cricketers who won hands down were Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar and Saurav Ganguly.
Hansa Research, which also conducts the Indian Readership Survey with an annual sample size of 2.4 lakh respondents, has carried out the celebrity survey for the first time.
For the research, Hansa used a sample size of 2,000 respondents in the age group of 15 to 50 years across 50 cities. Though the study was over in March-April 2005, it took time to release the findings as a validation round was also conducted. The study listed 200 celebrities from diverse fields like films, sports, television and music. The people were indexed on the basis of popularity and likeability of a celebrity.
The celeb value score, therefore, is the product of one’s recognisability (how many people recognise a celebrity) and one’s likeability (how many people have a distinct liking for himher).
Interestingly, the study also includes some Australian and Pakistani cricket players “as they too have started featuring in our commercials,” says Vineet Sodhani, head, client servicing at Hansa Research.
The need for a survey to gauge the nation’s most popular and acknowledged celebrities is said to have evolved from the research agency’s varied clients.
According to Ashok Das, managing director, Hansa Research, in 2004 around 18 per cent of all advertisements had celebrities endorsing the brands. In fact, corporates often sign on a celebrity based on intuition resulting in inappropriate brand fits.
“In the absence of a quantified and standardised study to measure the popularity of celebrities, there has been an underlying need for brand managers of various companies to know how to decide on which celebrities to take for product endorsements,” adds Sodhani.
However, this is only the first round of the survey. The study is expected to move forward in the second round which is likely to begin in September. Round two will take into account additional parameters like reliability of a celebrity.
“It will also consider other traits like how humourous or sexy a celebrity is,” he says. So if a company wants a humorous element in its advertisements, though Big B will have a high celeb value score, a Saif Khan or Paresh Rawal would be a better fit, he explains.
Interestingly, besides giving marketers a definite idea on whom to hire for endorsements and how much to pay, it will also give the celebrities a tool to charge the right fee for endorsements.
Clearly, the findings of ‘Celebrity Track’ will benefit the advertising and marketing communities, event and celebrity management firms and corporate houses in gauging celebrity popularity and arriving at appropriate brand associations.
Refusing to divulge the cost incurred on the project, Hansa executives claim that the research has been received very well. “Since the selling began before the release of the data, we are almost on the verge of breaking even,” says Sodhani.