Bollywood actor, Salman Khan was sentenced to five years imprisonment on April 5 by the Jodhpur Chief Judicial Magistrate Court. While shooting for the movie 'Hum Saath Saath Hain' in 1998 in Rajasthan, Salman allegedly went on a shooting expedition along with Saif Ali Khan, Neelam, Sonali Bendre and Tabu, and is believed to have killed two blackbucks in Jodhpur's Kankani village.
Following protests by the local Bishnoi community, a case was filed against Salman and the other actors. This is not the only case when the actor has been embroiled in a controversy. He is also accused in a hit-and-run case but that has not affected his brand value in any way. If anything, his brand value has seen a dizzying rise over the years.
If one keeps these two controversies aside, Salman also makes sure he does all the right things- be it making his fan-base thicker than ever by connecting with them through Films, Twitter and Facebook to utilising Being Human as a lifestyle brand at the front end and a philanthropic organisation at the back end, there is little Salman leaves that will make him a darling of the masses. Filmmaking, endorsing products, giving a number of Bollywood newcomers a chance in the blindingly beautiful world of Bollywood, ensuring his presence as a host on the popular show, Bigg Boss touches TV viewers and participants alike, these master-marketing activities have until now been a saving grace for his stellar brand image.The question that now remains to be answered is that after him being convicted yesterday, would brands still associate with him or would it be the decline of brand Salman Khan?
Marketing experts who spoke to exchange4media believe that while there might not be the decline of Brand Salman Khan in a big way, the blockbuster projects and brand endorsements in his kitty might reduce as those who want a clearer image would abstain from associating with him. Saurabh Uboweja, International Brand Expert and CEO Brands of Desire, says, "There may not be much decline in his brand equity as most of his fans may have been expecting the verdict sooner or later. However, he may not get enough blockbuster projects to work on in the near future given the uncertainly involved with his conviction and subsequent punishment. This may be the start of the decline of the phenomenon called Salman Khan."
N Chandramouli, CEO, TRA also has a similar take. âThe fact remains that the case has been there for so long. If you are convicted, brands who want to clearer image, would think twice before associating with you as whom you associate with adds brand value. The brand trust, equity and brand attractiveness are the three factors that are likely to dip down,â he says.
The verdict has stirred a spate of reactions and memes on Twitter and the actor soon began to trend. In fact, the hashtag, #BlackBuckPoachingCase ended up being the top trend on Twitter in India.
Today: #SalmanKhan convicted in the #BlackBuckPoachingCase.â Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty) April 5, 2018
Salman out on bail.
Salman launches "Being Black Buck" t-shirts.
3% profits go to charity.
Salman fans applaud Salman for being a conservationist.
"Tiger Innocent Hai" makes $2 billion.
Tweets by 76santhanakrish
Salman Khan found guilty in the #BlackBuckPoachingCase.â Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) April 5, 2018
Finally, some justice for that blackbuck's great-great-grandchildren.
Just In : "Case filed on Salman Khan in 1998 Under BJP Rule, We saved him for 10 Years From 2004-2014, Now again in BJP Rule he got Jailed. So, It's Clear, Whether Criminal or not, Minorities are Safe Under Congress Rule."â TIMES HOW (@TiimesHow) April 5, 2018
- Digvijay Singh after #BlackBuckPoachingCase (File Pic) pic.twitter.com/XiwNTRlTvr
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