Wishing on stars

Despite concerns about its efficacy, celebrity brand endorsements are showing no signs of fading out

In the globalisation era, an Indian company taking on the world is no longer big news for consumers. For the companies, however, catering to a global audience is serious business — both literally and metaphorically — and they are coming up with specially orchestrated celebrity-led advertising campaigns to communicate their intent. Given that letting the products speak for themselves could take years, these campaigns serve as shortcuts to build brand perception.

A case in point: in November 2015, Tata Motors chose footballer Lionel Messi as the global brand ambassador for its passenger cars for the next two years. The company’s press release speaks of plans to expand its footprint across the globe and Messi’s ability to transcend geographies. “The idea is to engage with young people and we found that football and Messi held a lot of connect with the youth,” Mayank Pareek, president, passenger vehicle business unit, Tata Motors, was quoted saying in the media. And this isn’t a new trend — last year, Hero MotoCorp signed on golfer Tiger Woods for a four-year period, shelling out a whopping ₹200 crore, the highest amount ever paid by an Indian company for a celebrity endorsement.

“Tiger Woods is not just a sports celebrity but one of the biggest global icons. His appeal cuts across geographies, nationalities, ag


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