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Big B turns 80; a look back at some of his iconic ads

Amitabh Bachchan is the preferred endorser when it comes to demanding trust and respect. Here's how the actor has lent his mass appeal to brand campaigns over the years.

Having spent more than five decades in Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan has been synonymous with a number of brands and has given audiences many memorable ad-films. By signing Bachchan as their celebrity endorser, brands across categories rode on the immense popularity and goodwill that the actor enjoys, and use the positive rub-off of the association to the brand's benefit.

His endorsement deals point to the versatile actor’s appeal among brands despite his age. In July, Hansa Research’s Brand Endorser placed Bachchan as the most recognised celebrity in the country, ahead of celebrities like MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Akshay Kumar, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, and other favourites who are younger than him and, perhaps, more active in their respective fields.

On his 80th birthday, we take a look at some of the megastar’s most iconic ad-films:

Pulse Polio campaign

'Do boond zindagi ki'- the campaign tasked for polio eradication resonates in every Indian's head with the baritone voice of Big B. What the actor did in 1995 for eradicating polio from the country was a feat no other celebrity has ever been able to achieve in the medical realm.

Nerolac Paints

Nerolac signed on Bachchan in 2003 as the brand's ambassador, and shortly thereafter, unveiled a multimedia campaign featuring the actor which centred on the theme ‘Yeh rang har kisi ko chhoota hai'. At the time, the agency handling the account (Interface Communications) claimed that the campaign was a hit with consumers and helped Nerolac gain in terms of its image.

Navratna hair oil

Navratna Oil was Emami's answer to sleeplessness, headaches, body aches and exhaustion. In the brand's integrated campaign launched in 2017 Bachchan featured as the 'Nautanki' style rapper, #RaahatRaja showcased the benefits of Navratna Oil, especially for the hard-working Indian masses like liftmen, house help, security guards, coolies, construction workers and traffic cops.

Dabur Chyawanprash

In Dabur Chyawanprash's case, although the brand was the clear leader in the chyawanprash market, the category was a victim of flat growth rates at that time. The brand was in need of a makeover and to keep the brand relevant to its consumers. The answer, as Dabur saw it, was to get Bachchan to endorse the brand. The coming together of brand Big B and Dabur Chyawanprash didn't just help the brand, but also the category, which was witnessing near flat growth rates.

Cadbury Dairy Milk

In October 2003, Cadbury had the strongest reason for roping in an endorser of Bachchan's stature. The company was trying to deal with the ‘worm controversy' that tailed its flagship chocolate brand Cadbury Dairy Milk. It is believed that Bachchan was its best bet in the bid to rebuild consumer confidence in the brand.

Boroplus antiseptic cream

In 2010, Emami Group's flagship multipurpose cream brand, Boroplus in its ad campaign released before the winter season, the brand attempted to move beyond functionality, and form an emotional connect with Indian consumers. By then consumers were well aware of Boroplus' functionality; it was time to elevate the brand towards a stronger brand halo as a natural progression and hence brand featured Big B in its mass media campaign.

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