She has a way with people and her screen presence is amazing. Twelve years into showbiz, and Brand Kareena shows no signs of ageing. In fact, her value has only soared through the years.
Of the 15 brands Kapoor endorses, seven are already on television, compared to archrival Katrina Kaif’s five, Priyanka Chopra and Anushka Sharma’s three and Deepika Padukone’s two, respectively.
In terms of airtime, this season, Kapoor clearly leads the pack of female brand endorsers. And, if that’s not enough, she charges the highest endorsement fee as well, settling for nothing less than Rs 2.5 crore a brand, per year. Her two-year endorsement deal with Limca, for instance, was recently signed for Rs 5 crore, thus beating Kaif, who, for a similar time frame, charges a fee of about Rs 4.5 crore a brand.
|15 AND COUNTING
|Head & Shoulders
Despite this, the 31-year-old, who belongs to the fourth-generation of the Kapoor family, is the darling of advertisers. The most recent of her endorsements is the Alpenliebe 2 Choco Eclairs assignment from Perfetti Van Melle, signed a month earlier.
|LEADING THE PACK
||BRANDS ON AIR THIS SEASON
||Alpenliebe, Limca, Anne French, Head &
Shoulders, Mahindra Duro, Lakme, Lavie
||Lux, Yardley, Panasonic, Choc-On, Veet
||Nikon, Samsung, Garnier
||Canon, Reliance Communications, Nivea
||Sony Cybershots, Fiama Di Wills (from ITC)
People in the know say her future endorsements could well be in categories such as financial services, a segment in which she has no presence as of now. In segments such as fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and technology, however, Kapoor remains the prime choice.
‘The best fit’
The question is: why do brands flock to her? Wasim Basir, director, integrated marketing communications, Coca-Cola India, says, “She remains the most popular Bollywood actress and people identify with her instantly. She was the best fit for Limca.”
Nikhil Sharma, director, marketing, Perfetti Van Melle, says, “She has a universal appeal, and we felt she would be just right for Alpenliebe 2 Choco Eclairs.”
Market experts, however, say there is more to Brand Kareena than just a pretty face and great body. “She is aspirational. Women want to be like her, men find her interesting, and kids love her,” says Harish Bijoor, chief executive officer, Harish Bijoor Consults. “All this works in her favour.”
Some ascribe the success of Brand Kareena to her recent celluloid exploits. In the last three to four years, she has emerged as a bankable actor, who can be cast in a wide variety of projects. She has also raised the bar, as far as remuneration to female actors in Bollywood is concerned. She charged nothing less than Rs 8 crore for the eagerly-awaited, Madhur-Bhandarkar film Heroine, for which she would also be paid a part of the profits.
Experts say a combination of these traits—success, good looks and attitude—is something most advertisers seek, which is why Kapoor has no dearth of choices. Her vivacious nature has found favour with many advertisers, especially in the FMCG category. “For brands, this is something they simply love,” says Shripad Nadkarni, director, MarketGate Consulting.
Success and brand performance
Kapoor’s popularity as a brand endorser can be gauged from these figures: Sony Viao, a brand she has been endorsing for the last three years, has seen its market share grow from six-seven per cent in 2009 to the current 20 per cent. According to IDC figures, for the quarter ended December 2011 (figures for the quarter ended March are yet to be released), Sony was the foremost consumer brand in the notebook segment, beating well-entrenched players such as HP, Dell and Lenovo. Sachin Thapar, head, information technology and mobile division, Sony India, says, “We literally came from behind to take the number one position. To a large extent, this was also because of the campaigns we ran with Kareena, which cut ice with consumers. It worked.”
Sony began its ‘Size Zero’ campaign in 2009, with Kapoor promoting its slim laptops. Since then, the Sony Viao-Kareena Kapoor association has simply grown, with the company tapping into not only her penchant for staying slim, but also her sense of style. For instance, when Sony introduced its colourful laptops last year, Kapoor was presented as a fashion model clutching Sony Viaos in different avatars. The company is set to bring out a high-decibel campaign in June, and, if the past is any indication, most eyes would be fixed on that.