Several personalities and brands are leveraging negative publicity to their advantage. Is the thin line between fame and notoriety disappearing?
Senior vice-president, JWT India
This trend has travelled to India as well, and you get to see characters such as Poonam Pandey cashing in on it, in a big way. It is the media that enjoys this the most, more than the consumers.
Sunny Leone has got herself many endorsement deals because of the kind of reputation that she has. Her notoriety can help a brand catch the initial set of eyeballs. But it will not help sustain a brand communication for long. In India, I do not foresee such a trend continuing. Indians are still sensitive about such issues.
Nanda Kishore Sethuraman
Head, marketing, Bharti AXA
My advertising professor once said, "There are two vehicles which will sell any product - sex and religion."
Remember Phoenix Shoes? MR Coffee? They did get spoken about a lot around then. Some even applauded their 'boldness'. I wonder where those brands are today. Brand endorsements work only if there is a fit between what the brand stands for and the personality of the celebrity.
Another example: Mallika Sherawat - a personality known more for her notoriety than substance - endorsed 7Up briefly only to find that the campaign didn't click and was eventually dropped. Yana Gupta even tweeted about her wardrobe malfunction and openly invited 'innerwear' brands for endorsements. I don't see her on any.
Morality and ethics have blurred lines, but it is the job of the marketer to understand the brand's values.
Chairman, Contract Advertising
It is the 'notoriety gimmick' that many resort to. But the gimmick could be short-lived because there is no short-cut to hard work.
Fame based on talent has a far better, greater and lasting value. Gimmicks especially do not rub off positively on brands. The brands always need a positive rub-off at all points in time. Just being noticed might help the brand in the short run, but for a sustained value, there is an image or reputation that needs to be built.
Fame based on positive perceptions is much more valuable than notoriety.
In today's attention-centric economy, there is no such thing as notoriety. At times, it is a good thing in the cluttered market. But, it is also on how the world sees it.
I do not personally find it right to leverage on notoriety. Within notoriety also, there are golden boundaries. Also, a lot of brands are seen to be doing it. Conformity will become a virtue in some time.
The path of notoriety will help well only if it fits well into the character of your brand. It would work well for brands such as Virgin or Benetton. It is good to be bad, up to a limit. Personalities such as Madonna and Lady Gaga continuously seek to provoke. I feel brands should join hands with such personalities only if they are in tune with such characteristics.