Corporate Review

Brands Talk: Celebrity Endorsements amid COVID-19

Brands Talk: Celebrity Endorsements amid COVID-19

Today, with brands becoming “metoo” in terms of features, quality, price and a few others to mention, connecting with the audience has become more challenging. Today, while every brand is trying to create its own identity in the market, the brand walk on the primary goal of advertising; persuasion of customers and what can be better than providing credibility via celebrities in the advertisements? Celebrity advertising or celebrity endorsement gained prominence in 1980s in India and since then has been a key aspect of the Indian advertising. With the advent of digital cable television and social media usage, there has been a significant evolution in the Indian Celebrity brand endorsements.

Celebrity endorsement projects a reliable image which marks the boxes for expertise, persuasiveness, trust. Vimal, Thums-up, Gwalior, Prestige pressure-cooker were the early brands that leveraged celebrity endorsement in the yesteryears. GroupM-ESP report states that over the past decade, celebrity-led endorsements have increased from 650 in 2007 to 1,660 in 2017, representing a steady CAGR of 10%. Indian brands are likely to be hooked upon celebrity endorsements for a long time and the freshmen entering the umbrella are none other than the startups. As per a report, Virat Kohli rules as the most valuable celebrity with the value of $237.5 million in 2019, followed by Akshay Kumar’s $104.5 million and Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone on the third position with a brand value of $93.5 million each.  

Here are a few Indian brands that have roped in sport celebrities for their brand endorsement in 2020.  

Paytm First Games – Sachin Tendulkar 

In a major marketing coup, Paytm First Games — the gaming subsidiary of homegrown digital financial services major Paytm — has signed up sporting legend Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador, a move the startup hopes will inspire gaming enthusiasts to experience fantasy sports and expand its reach in smaller cities and towns. As the brand ambassador, Sachin will create awareness about fantasy sports, a virtual game where participants put together virtual teams of real players of a professional sport and help Paytm First Games generate excitement around all fantasy sports, including fantasy cricket, kabaddi, football, and basketball. (PTI) 
Great Learning – Virat Kohli 

As the face of the Great Learning brand, Kohli will now lead the brand’s latest ‘Power Ahead’ campaign, which underlines the importance of lifelong learning and showcases how high quality learning at the right time can help professionals and students power ahead in their career, the company said in a statement. (PTI) 
Playerzpot- Smriti Mandhana and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar 

As per the statement of Mitesh Gangar, co-founder, “Adding Bhuvi and Smriti to Playerzpot family has given us the good buzz which we wanted, and now slowly, it’s helping us to establish ourselves in the Tier-II and Tier-III markets.” Playerzpot, founded in 2015, offers different fantasy sports like cricket, kabaddi, football, hockey, basketball, baseball, and more on its platform and claims to have over two million users. (PTI) 

Online poker platform 9stacks- Suresh Raina 

Pratik Kumar, Co-founder, 9stacks, says, “Poker is a mind sport, and like any other sport, requires skill, hours of practice, studying, mathematics, and strategy to master the game. We are delighted to associate with Suresh Raina, who will help in creating a higher brand recall amongst the key target audience.” 

BoAt- Shreyas Iyer 

“We are happy to be associated with one of the most promising batsmen of the Indian cricket team. Shreyas” youthful persona and dynamism go perfectly with our brand. He is a youth icon and we look forward to working with him,” brand co-founder Aman Gupta said in a statement. The brand has previously signed Indian cricketers including KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, and Prithvi Shaw as brand ambassadors (IANS) 

ELSA Corp- Ajinkya Rahane 

Edu-tech company, ELSA Corp (English Language Speech Assistant Corporation), has announced the appointment of cricketer Ajinkya Rahane, as its brand ambassador for India, Middle East, ANZ & SAARC. 
“Ajinkya Rahane is a self-made man and is revered to be one of the most influential cricketers of our times. He is the perfect example of an individual who has worked hard not only on his core craft but also on his personality, his confidence and how he carries himself on the field and off the ground. At ELSA, we have created an ecosystem of learning where individuals can master spoken English and become confident speakers, thereby helping them excel in the field of their choice. Ajinkya is the perfect embodiment of the ‘ELSA way of life’ and therefore he is the best fit.”- Manit Parikh, country head – India, ELSA Corp

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