K S Chakravarthy
National creative director, Draftfcb Ulka
For certain products, and certain audiences, they are better choices than irrelevant 'stars'.
Rahman was originally used to launch the iconic Airtel tune, and it worked like magic. Music downloads continue to be a huge revenue stream for telecom companies, so Rahman still fits the bill.
Karan Johar is the common man's connoisseur. He will be good for people with more money than taste, and eager to correct that situation, and hence perfect for Bru Cappuccino and Dulux. But, Alfred Dunhill? Hmm.
The bottomline: When the idea is to bring in credibility through an expert's endorsement, the right experts work better than pretty faces, however popular.
Vice-president, Percept Talent Management
I would like to agree to an extent that 'behind-the-scenes' or secondary celebs are viable endorsers. They are identified for high achievements in their field of work, and are credible because of what they do, who they can reach out to, and at the same time, project a sense of sincerity to the brand.
In this age of exploitation, smart syndication of a brand and an endorser is imminent. Celebrities can be acquired for brands under an umbrella that is larger than the one that their 'behind-the-scenes' counterparts endorse.
Different stars appeal differently to various demographic segments (age, gender, class or geography). The behind-the-scenes celebs help brands position themselves differently.
Brand consultant and co-founder, Chlorophyll
No! What does SRK (Shah Rukh Khan) bring to the party when he recommends a product? Is he an expert on TV technology? Or, toothpaste? Or, paints?
We smear strange unguents on our face because Priyanka Chopra tells us to. Mahendra Singh Dhoni tells us to switch our lubricating oil, and we do it without a murmur because film stars and cricketers are our gods. They KNOW IT ALL. And, we will follow them blindly to the cash counter.
Chetan Bhagat on the other hand, is just rain on Hirani's parade. Shankar is probably recognised, but who are Ehsaan and Loy? Having spent enough time in front of the camera, Karan Johar and Farhan Akhtar are on their way up Mount Kailas. And, tomorrow, you will happily buy anything they ask you to. Maybe even movie tickets.