How celebrities build brands down South

In 2018, celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Saina Nehwal, Isha Ambani chose big South Indian brands for their weddings

e4m by Neethu Mohan
Updated: Dec 18, 2018 8:39 AM

The South Indian textile brands have always been a hit and now they have grabbed the headlines for several celebrity weddings.

While the Indian textile industry is considered to be an industry that has created huge employment opportunities for both skilled and unskilled labours, India holds the second position in textile manufacturing category globally. They are also second in silk and cotton production. As per industry experts, Tirupur, Salem, Erode, and Coimbatore, known as the textile belt of South India, contributes to a major chunk of export revenue. 

While South India is famous for its ethnic cuisines and tourism spots, it is also famous for its collection of ethnic saree varieties like Konrad Sarees, Mysore Silk, Pochampally, Gadwal, Kanjeevaram Saree and the textile brands never fail to attract customers. 

How celebrities influence textile brands
In 2018, few celebrity weddings made it to national headlines. Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Saina Nehwal, Isha Ambani were among the few who tied nuptial knots this year. The brides of these big fat weddings chose to drape themselves in designer wears on their big day. A South Indian brand grabbed all the attention during the Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh marriage. The sarees draped by Deepika for the Konkani wedding and for the reception at Bengaluru were from The House of Angadi, a very famous silk store in Bangalore. 

Now, as per media reports, both sarees worn by Deepika which ranged from Rs 2-3 lakh have now been sold out from the store. This is an example of how celebrities influence a brand and help them in their business. 
The South Indian textile brands have always been keen in appointing brand ambassadors for their ventures or products. From Kamal Haasan to Dulquer Salman, from Jyothika to Nayantara, the celebrities have added brand value to the brands and products through their endorsements. 


Talking on the brands and celebrity influence, Vinay Kumaraswamy, Director, RmKVSilks Pvt Ltd said, “In today’s commercial landscape, celebrities exert an outsize influence on consumer preferences and buying habits. This has only been exacerbated by the exponential growth of social media as well as the increased focus on celebrities’ personal style and fashion choices. As a textile retailer, approaching a celebrity to endorse our brand would therefore allow us to reach a much wider and more varied audience than a conventional ad campaign might. In addition, the emotive connection that celebrities often evoke in their fans and followers perfectly blend with our own focus on wedding silks that can be cherished for a lifetime.”

Talking on RmKV’s brand association with actress Jyothika, Kumaraswamy said, “Jyothika’s collaboration with RmKV happened to coincide with her wedding to actor Surya. We were able to generate significant interest and engage with our customers through a campaign by asking them to guess what colour her wedding sari would be.”

“We eventually revealed that her wedding sari would be a new creation which, for the first time, featured 50,000 distinct colours. By tying together Jyothika’s star power with the emotional weight of a wedding sari, we were able to devise a memorable campaign. As a result, this special sari continues to be popular among customers to this day,” added Kumaraswamy. 


Pothys is another brand which has signed a line of celebrities as their brand ambassadors. Pothys was the first brand endorsed by Kamal Haasan in his five decade-long career. The brand has made an entry into the city of Bengaluru earlier this year and has roped in Puneeth Raj Kumar as their brand ambassador, along with actress Tamannaah Bhatia.
Commenting on this, Arockia Raj, Media Manager, Pothys said, “We are making our first-time entry to Bengaluru and in order to connect and influence a mass audience we wanted a celebrity who has likeability factor among the people of Bengaluru. Hence, we roped in Puneeth Raj Kumar.”


Further elaborating the influence celebrities had on the brand Raj said, “Actress Trisha was the brand ambassador for our Samudrika Pattu. It’s been years now and even today people relate Samudrika Pattu to Trisha. And, signing in her to endorse the brand has also enhanced the product growth.”


Pramod Kumar, Head of Marketing, Ramsons Dhotis has a different opinion. “The textile brands are compelled to have a face for their products. For a long time, Malayalam actor Innocent was our brand ambassador and to give a young face to the brand we signed in actor Anoop Menon. But, either of those moves haven’t helped us in our business growth. According to me, brand ambassadors and business growth are not related at all”.

Brands are also using the celebrity status to spread social messages. The below advertisement from Pothys spread the message of Go Green.  “When a celebrity is associated with a brand, a percentage of his or her fame is shared with that particular one. The fame of a celebrity helps in brand re-calling. In my opinion, presence of a celebrity provides more noticeability to a brand,” said a senior media planner based in Kerala.  


Owners endorsing brands
A recent trend seen in brand endorsements have been the owners themselves becoming the brand ambassadors. Saravana Stores and Pothys are among the few brands which follow this trend. 


“The reason why owners are appearing for their brand advertisements is to build trust among the consumers. There is a huge difference between a celebrity speaking for a brand and the owner himself speaking for it. The latter builds an element of trust among the commoners and it’s more like the owners conversing to the audience. This is a good trend as people feel more attached to the brand,” said a senior media planner based in Chennai. 

Pramod Kumar said, “While an owner himself is appearing for an advertisement for his product, he is building a strong connection between the brand and the consumers. This brings in a lot of brand credibility.”

“Any brand, new or old, needs a known face to build a connect with the audience. People idolise and admire celebrities. So when a brand uses a celebrity it is actually piggybacking on their popularity and it helps the brand to break the clutter and keep the competition at bay,” said Balaji RD, Business Director, Wavemaker. 

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