During the live brand experience, brand ambassadors become the identity of the brand,because they are the only human interface between the brand personality and the consumer. They are the people who have the potential to appeal to the desires of the participants and strengthen their relationship with the brand. A brand ambassador needs to be carefully trained and properly matched to the brand and the target audience to ensure that the brand experience will be a success. A brand ambassador is someone that represents a brand positively and carries the brand message out to the public. To be a good brand ambassador, you really need to know the product, the industry and to have the motivation to help other people discover the brand. It is not something that can be done effectively without any relation with the public and here arise the choice of celebrities. Celebrities have an overwhelming influence on a common man’s life. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons why advertisers’ bank upon stars for their endorsements. The glamour industry is majorly based on publicity and presence. What is out of sight goes out of mind of the audience. So, even when these celebrities don’t have films they still need to make their presence with the public and maintain their stardom. And becoming a brand ambassador has become an impactful way to grow ones celebrity quotient. Though stars value depends on films the Bollywood celebrities mint a lot from brand endorsements.
One among the leading stars who makes an impact through brand endorsements is Shah Rukh Khan who led the list of Indian brand ambassadors in the means of endorsement and number of advertisements in hand. Khan is often labeled as “Brand SRK” by media organisations because of his brand endorsement and entrepreneurship ventures. Khan’s first advertising venture was with Liberty Shoes in 1988. He also worked for Brahmaputra Tea in 1993. From 1999, Khan’s career in television advertising increased significantly. He became one of the highest paid Bollywood endorsers and one of the most visible celebrities in television advertising, with up to a 6 per cent share of the television advertisement market. In 2008 the actor was ranked first on the list of high profile brand ambassadors owing to the whooping 39 brands he endorsed. Soon Khan rose to “ever present celebrity”, with two or three films a year, constantly running television ads, print ads, and gigantic billboards lining the streets of Indian cities.
Shah Rukh Khan has endorsed prominent brands including LML, Pepsi, Nokia, Hyundai, Dish TV, D’decor, LUX and TAG Heuer. He has been named “Brand Ambassador of the Year” at various business awards ceremonies. In 2005, Khan launched his own perfume called “Tiger Eyes by SRK”, which is manufactured by the French perfume brand Jeanne Arthes. Khan has also been engaged as a brand ambassador to represent sport leagues, resorts and Indian states. He represented Force India, the Formula One racing team representing India in international motor race championships in 2007, the live entertainment theatre and leisure destination Kingdom of Dreams in 2010, the Champions League Twenty20 annual international cricket competition in 2011, the state of West Bengal in 2011, and film complex Prayag Film City in Chandrakona, West Bengal in 2012. Khan’s brand value had declined because of his status as an ageing superstar. It was cited when Pepsi replaced him with the younger star Ranbir Kapoor. But despite that, he managed to be in the top list. The Indian edition of Forbes named him “Shah Rukh Inc” and declared him India’s biggest brand. In 2014, it was reported that Khan had doubled his fee for promoting a pan masala brand after learning they had first approached another actor. At Rs.200 million (US$3.1 million), this was one of the most lucrative deals for a Bollywood actor ever.
In 2016, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) collaborated with Shah Rukh Khan for a year-long campaign aimed to appeal to his fans across the globe, giving them the opportunity to explore the city and its many offerings. Presently the actor is perhaps the most visible celebrity on screen with maximum number of brand endorsements in hand and collects Rs.3.5/4 crore endorsement per day for advertisement filming. Another actor who tops the list is none other than the age old actor Amitabh Bachchan known popularly as ‘Big B’ who was roped in by the Government of India as the promoter of Goods and Services Tax (GST) ahead of its implementation from July 1. He was roped in as a Goodwill Ambassador by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) South East Asia region to take the fight against hepatitis forward. In spite of the governmental campaigns the veteran actor holds in hand, acclaimed brands both globally and within the country like Cadbury’s, Parker, ICICI Bank, Lux, Maggi, Kalyan Jewellers have roped him in as their brand ambassaodor. To top it all, he has also been the ambassador for the promotion of Gujarat tourism for quite some time now.
Presently he collects an endorsement of Rs.2.5/3 crore per day for advertisements. Even as ages pass by, Big B still holds the power to convince the audience and this makes him the choice for the advertisers to select him as their brand ambassador.