Tuesday January 28, 2020
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Buy a Product Because a Star Endorses it!

There are often controversies when a brand advertise an actor promotes is found to be misleading. The government planned a law by which an actor who is part of such a misleading ad would also be held responsible and subject to penalty

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entertainment, Bollywood, talent, filmmaking, cinema, box-office
Stars are assigned ads just because they are stars. And, they do it for the money while the sun shines. PIxabay

BY VINOD MIRANI 

Remember the first Liril soap ad? Few who have lived through the 1980s would forget it. The legend with the ad read: ‘Come Alive With Freshness. And just about everything, from props to the accompanying jingle to the model, complemented the caption. However, the best thing about the ad was its model, Karen Lunel.

Most of all, the Liril ad had what they called – and it used to be the watchword of the advertising industry – a Recall Value, which has been everlasting in the case of that ad.

That was the era when ads created celebrities out of models. Now, it is the other way around. The ad-makers have resorted to a short cut. Go for the celebrities for endorsements. And, save for a few cricketers like Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who get the best deals, rest just add to the crowd.

The advantage with crickets is that they enjoy all-India following. When it comes to Hindi film stars, their appeal remains limited to the Hindi following regions. Also, save for somebody like Amitabh Bachchan, they don’t enjoy the popularity in the South that they do in the Hindi film circuits. In which case, the same ads with same storyboards have to be reshot for the South market with local stars.

There were many ads and radio jingles which had lasting value, and still remain popular when it comes to social media discussions when the topic arises. The country started its radio commercial services rather late, in 1967, and radio entertainment was available till only around 10.30 pm. Radio became the major medium of advertising.

In India, people don’t even read a newspaper article byline which in print is usually at the beginning of an article or news. For people to know the voice or face behind a radio jingle was impossible. Except for people like Ameen Sayani, few could earn fame through radio. So what made radio ads a hit was the jingles which, again, carried on to the TV.

With TV came the newer challenge, that of the visuals to go along with the jingle. And, some of them really caught the imagination, and have survived on the same tunes till date after a period of 30 or more years. The examples are a plenty. While the Liril soap is one of them, we have also had Nirma washing powder, Tinipol, Amul, Saridon, Vicks Vaporub, Vicks cough drops, Kingfisher, Vicko Vajradanti, Nerolac, MDH, Fevicol, Lifebuoy soap and many such.

Today, you find very few catchy ads.

There was an anti-smoking ad, which has no record on net, from the eighties or so – something like feeling like a man! There was this young lad who starts to smoke. He thinks he is now a man, grown up. His girlfriend admires him for smoking, too. In the end, he is a sick man coughing and awaiting his ultimate demise; there is no one around, no girlfriend. That, I would rate as the best anti-smoking ad ever and needs to be recalled. Social message ads were not as prevalent as they are today. This was a rare one.

bollywood
With celebrity status comes a certain responsibility too. Pixabay

If the Liril soap ad could prove to be evergreen, what is wrong with the ads today that every top film star endorses?

The reasons are numerous. For one, there is no freshness, there is no exclusivity, there is no solid written content to back a campaign and, worst of all, a filmstar promotes multiple consumer products at a time, each following the other on the same TV show!

Most of all, these ads often have little to do with the public image of the star. Public perception about them does not match up to the campaign they model!

Take the example of Amitabh Bachchan, who is seen begging for a cola drink from a lesser celebrity, Arshad Warsi. Now, that is not the Amitabh one knew from “Zanjeer” to “Deewaar” to “Trishul”. Fine, he has tried to mingle and prove himself to be just another normal human being, an aam aadmi like rest of us, through “Kaun Banega Crorepati” and these ads. But, his image is still larger than life for the endorsements he does.

There is a joke on Amitabh Bachchan who endorses Muthoot Finance as well as Kalyan Jewellers. On the Kalyan ad, he advises you buy gold while on Muthoot ad, he suggests you release your blocked cash by mortgaging your gold! Which ad does one take seriously?

Stars are assigned ads just because they are stars. And, they do it for the money while the sun shines. Shah Rukh Khan promotes Big Basket saying ordering kitchen stuff is his job at home. The turnover gives no credit to the brand ambassador so there is no way of knowing how effective a campaign is. Sunny Deol is a non-drinker but agreed to endorse an alcohol brand. Did it work? It did not.

The endorsement industry follows or thinks it follows a star’s popularity. So, not very long ago, we had Ranveer Singh promoting just about everything that was in the market. He was omnipresent on television ads during commercial breaks. Since then, those who call the shots have shifted their loyalties to the likes of Ayushmaan Khurana and Rajkumar Rao among others. Not many character artistes were chosen to promote brands. Now, there are a few exceptions with Pankaj Tripathi getting a lot of work on that front as do Sanjay Mishra and Paresh Rawal. Earlier, Irrfan Khan was much in demand till his had to withdraw dud to his ailment.

The ad world was a lure. Actors complied to do what they neither believed in nor practiced in real life and the alcohol ads proved more addictive for them then their principles. Sunny Deol and Akshay Kumar, both teetotallers, did not mind endorsing alcohol. Alcohol ads are banned in India so to say though unabashedly promoted through surrogate advertising. Thankfully, cigarettes are not. There are many such cases where the actors go against their grain to promote a harmful product even if they don’t endorse it in real life, say, Ajay Devgn endorsing a paan masala brand.

When an actor does this, as in things against their basic nature and conviction, it is all about money, right? Earlier, the stars made their extra income from various stage shows performed abroad. That trend is out now. Brand endorsement is the new way.

Bollywood films
After geniuses from Hollywood have started working on bollywood projects, Indian cinema has started becoming better. Lifetime Stock

Talking of money, and it is only about money is that, the brand ambassadors don’t necessarily owe loyalty to the product they promote. They are often seen using or consuming a competing brand to one they promote. Also, an actor is seen promoting multiple products often one ad following in quick succession.

With his two recent films, “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha” and “Pad Man”, Akshay Kumar made an image as a crusader for such social issues and has proved to be an apt promoter of toilet cleaners as well as sanitary napkins. Then, there are smaller brands and not very glamorous to promote like hair oils, atta, cereals, churans and such where the actor is shown burping or suffering from acidity. These ads are left to the lesser stars. Such campaigns go to stars who once enjoyed the limelight. likes Manoj Bajpayee, Manoj Pahwa, Hema Malini, Raveena Tandon, or Shilpa Shetty would get these assignments!

When not dealing with established stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Ranbir Kapoor the admen seem to go by the success and popularity of the stars they choose to endorse products. Among these, Ranveer Singh is leading the pack along with Alia Bhatt with Varun Dhawan while Ayushmann Khurana, Vicky Kaushal and Rajkumar Rao catching on.

There are often controversies when a brand advertise an actor promotes is found to be misleading. The government planned a law by which an actor who is part of such a misleading ad would also be held responsible and subject to penalty. However, though in the pipeline, the said law is yet to be passed. Meanwhile, the very essence of the advertising a product, Recall Value, does not mean a thing anymore.

Also Read: Social Media Giant Facebook now Tracks In-store Shopping, Targets Users with Ads

@The Box Office
The week sees the release of four new films — “Mardaani 2”, “The Body”, “Mudda 370 J&K”, and “Unfriends”. “Mardaani 2”, a relevant film about a rapist, enjoys a sort of brand equity being the second in the instalment where Rani Mukerji plays the cop. “The Body”, a mystery thriller is poorly promoted. “Unfriends” and “Mudda 370” relate to social trends and inter-community romance, respectively. Both are nonstarters.

* “Pati Patni Aur Woh” has done well in its first week. The film collected about Rs 51 crore and faces little opposition in week two, with no film catering to the youth this week.

* “Panipat”, a chapter from Maratha history, has done poorly. A high-budget film, it has managed to put together just about Rs 26 crore.

* “Commando 3” dropped badly in its second week, managing to collect about Rs 2.5 crore, which takes its two-week total to Rs 32 crore. (IANS)

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5 Useful Tips for Successful Online Product Representation

The online exhibition of their products demands a certain level of seriousness and you can always have a simple description

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Online, Product, Representation
A great example of this kind of representation can be seen with a successful orthopedic products retailer Your Best Brace.

Do you have an e-store but wonder how to show off what you sell in the best way? The online market is a narrow trading street with impatient customers, but there are some practical ways to attract more visitors to your business. As the internet became an increasingly important part of our lives, customers also moved from the street display to the endless digital supply of goods. 

Suddenly anyone with small costs can start their online stores. If the traditional business has made it an art to highlight certain products and goods to make them as attractive as possible, then how do we do it in our e-stores? We have gathered the best advice from the experts in a short guide that you can use to successfully highlight your products in the digital world.

Stick to Simplicity

Online, Product, Representation
The online market is a narrow trading street with impatient customers, but there are some practical ways to attract more visitors to your business.

The basic rule for e-commerce is that no one is immediately interested in what you sell. Selling products is not entertainment, and customers rarely chose your products or services because they were only initially represented in a more appealing way to them. Therefore, make it as easy as possible for potential customers to see what you are selling, and tell them directly about your products. 

A great example of this kind of representation can be seen with a successful orthopedic products retailer Your Best Brace. The online exhibition of their products demands a certain level of seriousness and you can always have a simple description of every single detail. The combination of the detailed product description, along with a reviewing video and a set of pictures where nothing is left unseen, can make a simple but ideal formula for successful online product representation.

Also, put a lot of focus on the design of your e-store. For example, consider whether you need some technical elements that at first glance look modern and stunning. Some customers will surely be impressed, but keep in mind that some may be annoyed if they have to wait for, for example, a Flash application to load clearly. 

Instead, you can succeed with a very stripped-down design that highlights your products as easily as possible. In both cases, however, it is good to put your most important and best-selling items on the front page, so that the customer can directly decide what she or he is looking for.

Also Read- Rajasthan: Thousands of People Working to Produce Plastic-Free Plantable ‘SeedRakhi’

Put the Product in the Center of Customers Attention

Online, Product, Representation
As the internet became an increasingly important part of our lives, customers also moved from the street display to the endless digital supply of goods.

When we buy things online, we are usually not interested in all of that additional information about the company that can be seen around the website. It can be fun to write a long text about how the company started or about how uniquely you pack and deliver your goods, but make sure that that information comes after the products themselves. 

The interested person will still find your information on the website if you add it to the menu bar or during the product presentation. The key element to this is that you maintain a certain “healthy flow” in customer’s behavior, as this will create a more relaxing and trustworthy feeling in your users. 

Also Read- Apples Upcoming iPhone 11 Line-Up to Feature Company’s New A13 Chip

Give Examples

Online, Product, Representation
Suddenly anyone with small costs can start their online stores.

What can you use your product for? If you sell super-light shoes that are good to use in the snow, you might want to take a picture of the shoes in snow for clarity. Tell them directly about the product, what it is good for and after that always give a suitable example for a fair comparison. It all comes down to the way our minds work. If your customer has already found himself on your website selling wooden carved vases it can be said with certainty that he needs one. 

Yet, the final choice doesn’t simply come from the fact that he likes the one on your website but from the decision wheater, the ones that he already saw are a worse choice than the one that can be seen on your website. Do not forget to describe in a fair but slightly superior way what you are selling. Dimensions, detailed descriptions, and technical information are always good for the customer to know, but always find a way to convince them that your products are simply the best. 

Use as Many Great Pictures as You Can

Online, Product, Representation
We have gathered the best advice from the experts in a short guide that you can use to successfully highlight your products in the digital world.

Just think about how it is when you look at things you want to buy at an auction site. If you cannot see the product, it is difficult to know what you get. Therefore, focus first and foremost on developing beautiful pictures of what you sell, preferably several pieces. 

If you sell shoes, the customer may not only want to see a picture from the side but from behind, from above, from below and in various other angels. Avoid disturbing elements in the pictures. Purity and simplicity are key attributes that need to be applied to images. 

Choose a white or neutral background where you put your products. And of course, never hesitate to include a video.

Sort by Care

Online, Product, Representation
The basic rule for e-commerce is that no one is immediately interested in what you sell.

If you sell many products, it is highly important that they are easily found in a matter of a couple of clicks. Sort your goods by different categories; If you sell old LPs, for example, it is much easier for the customer to find what she is looking for if there is a possibility to sort the goods by genre. 

Also, make sure that all goods can be sorted by price or other important factors but always maintain the possibility of gliding through different parts of your website in the quickest way possible. Do not forget that countless potential customers have simply closed in a matter of seconds an online store that is confusing and slowly responsive. 

Or, Be Creative and Stick Out!

Online, Product, Representation
Selling products is not entertainment, and customers rarely chose your products or services because they were only initially represented in a more appealing way to them.

Although it is not the safest way to get your e-store to work exceptionally well, you can,  and only if you know your customers well, ignore wholly or partly in the above tips. Think of all those messy shops downtown that attract so many customers precisely because they are so messy, those who do not at all remind of orderly business but surprisingly still work! 

If you build a well-thought-out website with planned chaos, there is a chance that you stand out so much that people are pulled there just because it’s so exciting. This option is ideal for those artistic souls who think that they can see all those things outside the box that other owners don’t. But, also for those who undoubtedly know their customer’s mindset very well and are ready to risk the name and prestige for the sake of authenticity. 

In Conclusion:

Online, Product, Representation
Make it as easy as possible for potential customers to see what you are selling, and tell them directly about your products.

Just like in most types of businesses, the one who dares to risk may get surprising results. But, the plain and simple wins the trust of any customer regardless of its age, gender or personal background. Know that unlike traditional stores, online stores are stormed with people of all ages and that you will need to convince both eighteen years old girl and seventy-five years old man that your product is the safest bet. 

Finding an ideal medium that will appeal to all the needs of your visitors has to be the main element in your online marketing strategy.