Isn’t it awesome to have celebrities in Indian Advertising

We have all grown up watching and listening to adverts all over the television and radio. Year on year, with increasing number of brands and product choices, we see an increasing variety of advertisements. Marketers use many strategies to promote their brand and one such strategy is Celebrity Endorsements. While celebrities hold special place in people’s hearts, they also hold the power to influence them.

 “The brand value added by celebrities is immediate and palpable”, Forbes. Indeed. Each brand has its own unique voice and style. But the association of a famous personality with the brand not only improves the consumer perception, it also gives validation to that voice and style.

Each brand has a meaning of its own and stands by that one word it associates with the most. Celebrities play an important role in changing a brand’s perceived personality.

Guiltfree Industries Limited, a name that many of us aren’t even aware of, is one of the new fish in town! You might not know about this company, but you sure would know the company’s brand Too Yumm, one of the youngest brands in the market. In an industry, predominated by sharks, this little fish is making its way through the whirlpools of competition. And guess what strategy that they chose was? Well, celebrity endorsement.

We already know of all the well-established brands in the Savoury-Snacks category. In an industry where many players like PepsiCo and Frito-Lay hold the largest market share, it is almost impossible for a new brand to enter the space. Yet Too Yumm has managed to capture the attention of people all across the country.

Too Yumm chose to go for a celebrity that made everyone sit up and take notice. They chose Virat Kohli. Cricketer Virat Kohli, who is known to be a fitness freak, became the face of the savoury brand. This revelation came right after Kohli parted ways with PepsiCo.

“I will not endorse a product I don’t consume”, Kohli had stated his reasons for leaving PepsiCo.

Kohli’s dramatic exit from PepsiCo, made his fans realise his passion for healthy eating habits and fitness regimes. But soon after this, Virat Kohli was seen munching on snacks, raising many eyebrows. Kohli then posted an open letter on his social media pages, talking about his guilty pleasure. It was all cleverly planned. The timing of this open letter was exactly before the start of the IPL.

See how cleverly Kohli mentions the company name “GuiltFree”

The campaign launched with the start of the first strategic time-out of IPL. The longest 60-second advert, revealed the big secret, “Fried Not, Fikar Not”. The snacks are baked and not fried. This put the outraged fans to rest, realising that Kohli was after all not munching on junk food. The brand also ran a simultaneous digital campaign with hashtag #WhyChipsVirat. The video showed outraged and unhappy fans, complaining about Kohli’s love for chips.

As a consumer, when I saw these ads I was convinced about the brand at once. Because Virat Kohli was talking about it! Kohli has time and again been vocal about health and fitness. And if he was eating this snack, it definitely meant it was healthy. No matter what brands say about themselves, they get a true validation when young icons like Kohli are associated with them. Of course not all brands rely on this but it sure does affect consumer perception and the brand’s identity. Celebrities should be more conscious of the products they endorse. Just like Kohli, other celebrities have a moral responsibility to endorse a brand that they believe in. It is the only way to sway the consumers towards the brand.

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