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Cracking the Brand Called AB!!!

47, 016, 80 users on Facebook. 235, 508, 18 unique twitter users.

No of Brand endorsements: 20 plus. Endorsement fees – Rs 2.5 crore to Rs 3 crore a day

Estimated Brand value over Rs 700 crore.

Year of establishment: Oct 11, 1942. Existence on planet Earth:74 years

Brand Personality:   Sincere, competent, exciting, sophisticated, rugged

 

The Brand Name: Amitabh Bachchan.

 

Phew yet another post on an overrated celebrity? Whats the big deal. But No think again this post is for the world’s most ageless Brand. A brand that has stood the test of times from introduction to maturity, witnessed decline, risen from the ashes like a phoenix  and survived generations, a brand that has risen beyond the ordinary and steered through the clutter, a brand that knows how to leverage drawbacks to translate them into USP’s. A Brand that is a benchmark in communication and conduct with the external world. If this is getting too much and if you have already started thinking as to why a post to pay an  ode to a personality, when already a discussion on him has been beaten to death N number of times and occasions;then please bear with me. Let me confess this.The more I study Brand AB the more I am intrigued by his sheer relevance, innovation, Passion survival instincts and energy. This is about a Brand that has resurrected the lives of so many dying brands. Reid and Taylor appears sophisticated, Tata become more trustworthy and Cadburys becomes even more exciting.

 

I agree he has too many brands in his kitty and I cannot but conform to the fact that he gets paid handsomely for every endorsement. But now let’s look at the other side of the coin. Well, this is an exceptional case in the history of celebrity marketing that whenever a brand has fallen,the recall and visibility of Brands has zoomed up due to his mere presence.

 

Let me share an incident from one of my Brand classes. We were discussing about celebrity endorsement and how endorsing too many brands by a single celebrity can lead not just to a celebrity overload, irritation, Brand withdrawal, avoidance but also a Recall fatigue. I then picked up a couple of students and asked them to recall at least 4 brands endorsed by Mr Bachchan and brands endorsed by a different celebrity. To my utter surprise the students were able to clearly remember more than 6 brands with Mr Bachchan while they were still struggling with merely 2 brands endorsed by others. The simple reason to this is Mr Bachchan’s connect spans across Target groups.  His focus and effort on every brand is equal and significant.

 

He has the ability to get into the Brand character. Such is his persona that Brands feel pride in piggybacking on his strong shoulders. So from a Park Avenue, Maruti Versa Reid and Taylor to a Dabur honey, Boroplus, TVS Jupiter, Tata sky and even Maggie noodles he seems to fit in effortlessly.I still recall all those movies where he has been a part of a brand integration exercise. The Harley Davidson looks all the more stylish as he flaunts it with tremendous Panache in his garish rugged avatar in BBuddah hoga Tera Baap and ICICI bank becomes the most happening place to work with when his character in Baghbaan is depicted as an employee of the bank.

 

Though sometimes he has been under the scanner and criticised for his choice of Brands like Himalaya Navaratna oil for instance. But the fact of the matter remains that we are still discussing about the Brand giving it a free recall despite all the negativity. When Lux beauty soap completed 75 years they wanted to create a special campaign and aspired to have Mr Bachchan as the Brand ambassador. No means No was his reply. I do not consider myself apt for beauty products. SRK was signed it for expressing his Sundarta ka raaz with 5 reigning beauty queens. No points for guessing the campaign was a disaster.

 

As I was writing this post I caught a glimpse of this news on economic times about LUX hosiery brands roping him as their next brand ambassador, hoping that an association with him will help them communicate and reach a wider segment of customers. Contrary to this One Plus the techno savvy Chinese mobile brand believe that the charisma of Bachchan and his immense credibility resonate well with their personality and will definitely be instrumental in taking their Indian growth story forward.

 

In fact in my knowledge Mr Bachchan as a Brand ambassador has a something very unique about him. In a crisis Brands blindly lean back on him as the strong trustworthy reliable crusader who would rescue them out of the doldrums. So much in sync with his on screen persona of a dogood and fighter of evil. Remember Cadburys Worm infestation crisis way back in 2006?How the Brand managed to win consumer confidence and bounce back ruling the Indian chocolate market with over 70 per cent market share with his sheer presence. In 2000 when Star Plus had almost lost the TRP game, he came to their rescue with KBC one of the most loved quiz shows on Indian Television. History repeats itself. The quiz today is in its 9th season and this time SONY entertainment television is estimated to make 400 crore on his bankable shoulders.Save the Tigerand the Channel Too. A formidable task by NDTV taken to fulfilment by the megastar.

 

I can talk about his strength as a Celebrity with so much passion because I have been the part of Khushboo Gujrat Ki Post campaign impact survey and actually analysed how strong a draw a celebrity like him can be for a campaign. The Presence of Mr Amitabh Bachchan as the brand ambassador lend Gujarat an impeccable Visibility and recognition as a tourist destination when it was struggling in the cluttered tourism scenario.  His credibility & popularity as a performer have been positive rub offs for Brand Gujarat.  The survey results reflected an average rating of 17.46 out of 20 which is approximately 87% for the Brand ambassador on different attributes. INCREDIBLE but true.

The Brand Ambassador was recalled by almost every individual surveyed. In fact the association of Gujarat with the Celebrity has brought in an element of strong connect with the brand.

 

The best Part is while endorsing for the brands his focus on his staple profession the movies does not deviate an inch. He is equally serious and that’s how he manages to spring up a surprise every year sometimes with a BLACK at others with a Paa and at still others with a path breaking Pink. The serpentine queues continue at multiplexes as the box office is more than happy for another huge mega success. Brands are ready to wait patiently for their Shehenshah to win them their much needed kingdom. Truly a game changer. No endorser irrespective of a Khan, Kapoor or a Kohli tag at least in India has so many attributes to their personality and hence when it comes to Mr Bachchan I believe he is flawless as the Brand ambassador. There is little wonder then that when it came to choose the messenger for GST he was the crusader of choice for the honourable Prime Minister.

 

 

-Dr. Tripti Dhote

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39 comments

  1. Sumeet Bhatia

    Very nicely and detail oriented article. Especially the brand description of AB! I mean celebrity like Mr.Bachchan have so much potential and energy to revive and recreate the brand image some of the live cases are Cadbury and Maggie, and one can never forget his presence in ICICI ad or to the recent one plus phone ad. Truly a treat to read with blog.

  2. A beautifully knitted blog post . Kept my attention glued from the first till the last line . A delightful read and a insightful article on how Critical is the task of choosing a celebrity for a particular brand. every brand has a story and how a celebrity face becomes a medium to depict that story to the audience .

  3. Too Good. Kept my attention intact throughout. Brand AB was really eye catching.

    • Thanks a ton Pali . Yeh Bachchan sahab ka majboot Jod hai Tootega nahi. Happy reading for future

  4. Ma’am you can also check our rebranding assignment for Incredible India where we suggested Mr. Bachchan as the brand ambassador and to our surprise he replaced Mr. Khan in 2016, although rumors of Mr. Modi were on all time high. Again kudos to the amazing narration.

    • Oh yes senthil I do remember. It was an amazing session. In fact whatever recommendations we came up with always hit the bulls eye. thanks for your feedback!!!

  5. Very interesting read madam. We all know AB as an actor but this post reveals his “Brand” value.
    Looking forward to read more on similar subjects.

  6. Shikha Malkarnekar

    Very well written article Tripti. Gives us insight true insight how Charismatic Big B was , is and will be , how his magic has played a role in the revival and added immense value to this world of Advertisements , shows and campaigns.
    Thouroughly enjoyed reading your article . Looking forward to many more. Cheers dear friend!

  7. Very interesting read…well written insightful article

  8. Interesting indeed! Both the Brand Ambassador AB and your write-up!

  9. Very well written article Tripti.

  10. Dheeraj kumar

    Hi Ma”am,

    Superb article .very detailed and inspiring article of AB.

  11. Hello Ma’am,

    Superb articulation as always with great top-of-the-mind recall examples. Probably, no one can do this better than you mam.

  12. Nitin Bhardwaj

    Too good mam got to know many insightful facts about brand AB n branding👌…I m not a regular blog reader but after reading your blogs …I think I should start reading blogs on regular basis😅

  13. Chaitanya P K

    Very insightful article ma’am. Beautifully articulated and a pleasure to read.

  14. Hi ma’m … An interesting write up with explanation backed by lot of facts and figures. Still remember the classroom discussions on impact of phase-shifts in celebrity popularity on existing brand image (Aamir – Snapdeal for e.g). Yes! AB has been able to withstand the odds in terms of maintaining his own image clear – less risk to companies.

    But…. ‘Panama Papers’ has been one such controversy which now seems to have taken the wings off. Today’s article on that –>
    https://www.msn.com/en-in/entertainment/bollywood/panama-papers-case-amitabh-bachchan-aishwarya-rai-ajay-devgn-to-be-summoned-by-ed/ar-AAsxpvK?li=AAaeRVN&ocid=ientp

    Now this is interesting to wait-see-analyze what impact it would have on the brands he had endorsed and currently endorsing!

    • Thanks Naresh for a thoughtful analysis. Well due to Word restriction i could not talk about Panama and other controversies, but in my personal opinion after the panama crisis cropped up he had signed up huge brands like One plus already. KBC is the top rating show on SET. So I don’t think it will make much of a difference to his brand worth. He is a do-gooder and fighter of evil on screen and I am certain he will emerge victorious again as his brand wagon zooms ahead full speed.

  15. A Big Thank you Bhardwaj..

  16. I really love the way you right, very interesting and backed with so many example and thought which made the clear picture about the brand like AB.

  17. Beautifully written. The writing was very harmonious keeping me intact throughout. Very aspect of Big B as a brand was covered through comprehensible language and examples. Loved reading it Ma’am.

  18. Mr Ab has been my all time favourite and anything n everything about him interests me always ! Tripti..This was a treat to read about him….His charm and aura are unbeatable and eternal….You have very well maintained that Chashma about him in your article….Lucid and Wel articulated…Congrats !

  19. Vivek Nair (Batch of 2014-16)

    On dot, ma’am. I could literally see those Brand Management PPTs, while reading this peace.
    My take on this:
    1. Cinema is the only industry where an actor can portray different roles and ‘age with the brand.’ So had Royal Enfield been so popular when ‘Deewar’ was released, Mr. AB would have ridden it for the title track of ‘Muqaddar ka Sikander’. The point being, we need to wait for “a Kohli or a Kapoor” to grey his hair, to come to the conclusion that only Mr. AB can stand the test of time.
    2. No denying the fact that Mr. AB is a cult brand. But so is Cadbury Dairy Milk; which could be why the company was able to bounce back after the fiasco. Nestle’s Maggi is a case in point. So the credit for the products being back on the shelf, should also be given to all those people who continued to consume Maggi, irrespective of what the FSSAI had to say.
    3. I think Junior AB has many traits that his senior counterpart has. Still, we remember the former as just ‘Guru Kant Desai’ or ‘Idea Sirji’. Which means there is an element ‘X’ which the senior Bachhan has, and probably no one else does. So the day, Ad men and marketing gurus give ‘X’ a name, Indian ad space would be ready with another Mr. AB.

  20. Very well put together. I think you hit the nail on the head about Brand AB’s x factor – his sheer ability to reach the masses, across all age groups young and old alike, only serves as energy to sustainability of his brand.

    Just like Gujarat tourism, an important campaign was the Polio drop which of course was a success again proving his value in reaching young – old; rich – poor ; cities and villages.

    Keep them coming doctor

  21. Deepesh Chatterjee

    Good and well analyzed

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