Dhoni Endorsed Brands – More Damage Than Good

Over the past few years Dhoni has given SRK a run for his top spot as brand endorser, with brands ranging from GE Money, Brylcream, Pepsi, 7Up. Charging up to 4crores for his appearances, he does not come cheap. But does he really have an impact on the brand? To his credit, he does have the fumbling boy next door charm, however, does it really help the brand? What with his poor delivery, no camera presence and lack of a sense of timing! Well, to be fair seeing familiar faces on the TV gets people diverted to the slot the first time around, but what sustains the memory is the ad, the creativity, the punchline, the relevancy and well, sometimes, even the nagging, irritatingly boring persistency of an admaker who thinks he has nailed something – when he is far from it…but you remember all of the extremes, things in between are forgotten. But, as I said in one of my previous posts – here – when was the last time you bought something because your favorite player/actor endorsed it?

Well, with Dhoni’s latest Aircel ad, the ad makers seem to have realized how boring he was in the ad – as they have given him a pass already. Also, since all the negative publicity he garnered a few weeks ago and his popularity waning, I still kept seeing the ads and wondering whether they are not doing more damage to the brand than good and shouldn’t they be taken off air immediately? The media has been slow to react but  two weeks later the ads with Dhoni in it have trickled to zero, like someone wiped out those seconds from a film reel.

I’m a very strong supporter of the creative ads, with a good storyline that sticks with the brand – the advertisers throwing in an Abhishek Bacchan like in Idea or an Aamir Khan in the Samsung ads is just a safety net – the plots are popular not because of them but in spite of them…dont’ get me wrong, they do an excellent job, except, the ads would have been as good, if delivered by anyone else.

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2 Responses to “Dhoni Endorsed Brands – More Damage Than Good”


  1. 1 Vibhor July 29, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Well, as for people who do not buy a product just bcoz its marketed by Dhoni or srk (can’t write it in caps), they won’t buy a product either, even if its got a nice tagline or ‘idea’ (common – I won’t switch from vodafone to idea just coz their advzmnt is good). But the advtzment and brand ambassadors are meant to lure peoeple, who do buy a product endorsed by their fav star. And trust me, even with all the -ve publicity, females (and esp women) acros the country still adore Dhoni. Read Shobha De’s column published sometime back, if you want to know why 🙂

    • 2 Sreeja Iyer July 29, 2009 at 5:00 pm

      Yes, true. I agree. Some of the product ads and branding is just for “new customers” and not for existing customers. But, a good idea and alert marketing team doesn’t hurt either. After all, where do you think the ARPU’s come from or will come from, in the future?


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