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What happens to brand recall when the same celebrity appears in six different ads back-to-back?

By Suraj Ramnath , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | November 11, 2016
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We ask ad experts, which brand, in such circumstances, would have a high recall in viewers' minds and the factors behind the same.

Only recently, Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh appeared in six different ads back-to-back; Makemytrip, Vivo, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Colgate, Ching's Secret and Set Wet Deo. The actor has many more brands in his kitty but we asked our ad experts about what happens to brand recall when the same celebrity appears in back-to-back ads? Does it come down to best copy and the execution that helps in a brand recall?

Kawal Shoor, founding partner, The Womb

Kawal Shoor

There are multiple points. Very often most of these brands use celebrities as a substitute for an idea and that's always the wrong way to go about it. I remember seeing this ad break and it has become infamous now. There were six Ranveer Singh ads one after the other and because Makemytrip's execution is interesting I remember it. They have nicely spent on the execution and made a very interesting ad. Most of these clients and agencies are wasting money. The only advice to the clients would be, 'please do not waste so much money because the only person who is laughing all the way to the bank is Mr Singh.'

Arun Iyer, chief creative officer, Lowe Lintas

Arun Iyer

I don't think it comes down to best execution but best usage. Of course, the quality of the creative makes a big difference, but in the past we have seen Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan being extensively used across brands and now there is a wave of Ranveer Singh being used across brands so we have seen this trend before. There are brands that use brand ambassadors well and there are brands that use brand ambassadors just for the sake of using brand ambassadors. So, I think the ones who are doing the latter, have no solid idea, no proper connect and that's where the brands lose out. If there is a great connect and have a great creative and using the celebrity well in a way that people will remember then the cut through comes. Overall if the quality of the creative output is good then the chances of it sticking in the mind with the brand is higher.

Anu Joseph, chief creative officer, Creativeland Asia

Anu Joseph

MG Parameswaran

The only brand that I see being built in such a scenario is brand Ranveer Singh. On a serious note, I'd say that brands have to be a lot more prudent in choosing celeb brand ambassadors. If some of the things that a brand ambassador is supposed to bring to the table are exclusivity and stronger recall, both take a beating if the said celeb is overexposed on brands. A great script will help. But, one can't count on it alone to break celeb clutter.

Brand consultant MG Parameswaran (Ambi)

Very difficult to analyse what will have a bigger impact. There are various factors, one being that a bigger brand will have a bigger impact. The brand that has more connect with the star will have a bigger impact, the story or a more engaging story will have a bigger impact, the way the star is used in the film will have a bigger impact so there are multiple factors and not just one factor that will help in a brand recall.

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