Divyapratap Mehta
Guest Article

Kuch kuch hota hai, after seeing this ad

The celebrity mismatch for match making. Karan Johar promoting inter-alumni marriages? Seriously?

Celebrities promoting anything and everything mindlessly is probably a norm. While celebrities hardly seem to be bothered about their brand and taking up endorsements of products with a serious mis-match is probably the done thing. I guess it stems from maximising number of endorsements rather than something that fits into their brand value and ethos.

Though brands are equally responsible for this mis-match. The celebrities they choose sometimes shake you completely. I guess its on purpose for shock value or marketing schizophrenia.

Talking of marketing schizophrenia, the latest in the crown jewel was Karan Johar promoting IIT-IIM Matrimony. Like seriously? I was shocked, stunned and amused at the same time.

I asked myself some serious questions, despite the glaring mis-match. Why Karan Johar? What did they eat to come up with his name? What was really going on in their mind?

Divyapratap Mehta
Divyapratap Mehta

Karan Johar, someone who has celebrated single parenthood, supports all kinds of sexuality, a popular film maker, a gossip king and sometimes a love guru. So where is the connect?

I guess the most logical answer is in not being logical. Gimmicks, mis-match make for controversies and may be the need of the hour is to be ridiculous to attract attention.

The ad shows Karan talking about compatibility in the same breath as promoting elite group arrangements and probably having a big laugh after having said it. The irony that the self-proclaimed king of romance believes in such a concept seems awkward.

That brought me to the other question: What was Karan eating before he said yes? I am sure it couldn’t be done with some serious consideration. I guess the money is good, so I can say anything and endorse it. Or maybe Karan now is shifting his genre to humour. The endorsement being a first of this comedy show. Not to mention the poor guy being trolled for his values. The trolls also have extra time at hand, I guess. Guys this is a joke, not meant to be trolled. You really think, he thought before doing it? Give poor Karan Johar a break.

Whatever the reason for such blaring mis-matches. It still needs marketeers to think hard and also enjoy a smirk if not a big laugh. Welcome to a truly mindless era of endorsements. Next, we could be seeing him promoting a hair shampoo for rich bald people in a comic role.

While it seems like a comedy and satire, it still needs us to do some soul searching for our craft as brand people. Is our quest for quick publicity the only corner-stone we will choose a celebrity endorser for? Are we diluting our industry? Will people stop taking us seriously? Are we headed towards marketing ridicule and want to enjoy this process?

As for the celebrities, this is not another venue for dancing. Most importantly you have some influence and brand value. Hope there is light at the end of this tunnel.

Some questions that certainly startle me. Hope we as a community find some answers and let this pass. And sure, a chuckle would help answer and enjoy the process.

(The author is a thought leader in consumer insights, brands and strategy, with experience across diverse markets and clients.)

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