Palmolive shaving cream and Boost ads were really important for me: Kapil Dev

The legendary Kapil Dev on how sports has evolved over the years and its role in marketing today

e4m by Anam Khan
Updated: Nov 3, 2017 8:40 AM

The second series of Saath:7 Cricket Mahotsav 2017 by Wonder Cement was recently launched in New Delhi. The aim is to create one of the world’s largest consumer engagement activity programme. Brand ambassador of the company, the legendary Kapil Dev, in an interaction with exchange4media, shared his perspectives on how the sports industry is swiftly growing to be one of the biggest influencers in the advertising world. He also tells us two of his favourite ads, which he endorsed. Excerpts:

Tell us about your association with Wonder Cement. What do you look for first while deciding to endorse a brand?
Wonder Cement has come up with this wonderful initiative to engage people from different backgrounds and remote villages with cricket. This time they came back on a larger scale covering three states and involving around 48,000 participants, which is actually a good number. The good thing is that they are trying to do something for sports and that’s exactly why I got involved. I look for the sincerity the brand has. Their base should be strong enough in what they say, they should mean it, that’s very important. You know whenever any person does the brand endorsement it becomes very difficult for that person to go into the smallest details, as in knowing the history of the brand. So at that very moment we look at whether they are genuine or not. I think that’s very important.

Do you think cricketers have become bigger brand influencers than even film stars?
Well that’s very difficult to say. I mean that totally depends on the brand and what image would they like to project. Some brands like to have sports persons while other brands like having actors to endorse their products or services. To conclude, it depends on a brand as to what kind of people they want to choose.

You are cricket’s most iconic all rounder. What would be your three suggestions for building lasting brands?
I think the base has to be strong, in other words the foundation should be strong enough, in their beliefs. In my opinion, it’s not three things it’s just one thing. If the base of any company is strong, everything will be fine. Time will come when you might see ups and downs but as long your thought process and basics are correct, everything remains perfect.

Do you think sports has become one of the most lucrative genres in the country today?
I think the New India, say in the last 20 years, has emerged and they are more than ready to look at sports as another option for them to advertise. I personally feel it’s very important because 20-30 years back, they didn’t have something like that, sports was very different back then.

Which according to you are the top three ads which featured you?
I think the Palmolive shaving cream. The other important ad for me was Boost. Rather than three, I would say those two were really close and important for me.

What are your views on the Saath:7 event? How it has helped to engage consumers with the brand?
What Wonder Cement has done is organised cricket in villages, on the streets, thereby creating an opportunity for everyone to play. It is like giving an opportunity to young boys to go school and study, how beautiful it can be! Here a company is trying to give you the basis of sportsman spirit, which is the important thing.

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