Friday, September 4, 2009

Shah Rukh can!

S Kumar He is charismatic. He is adorable. He is intelligent. He is an actor, a producer, a team owner, a businessman and primarily an entertainer. Loved by millions of fans worldwide, he is the heartthrob of the nation. An absolute charmer, who has been wooing women with his chocolate-box looks and killer eyes for over two decades on screen, Shah Rukh Khan or SRK is undoubtedly the biggest brand in India. From cars to soft drinks, from quiz shows to anchoring programmes and from biscuits to pens, computers and even a bank, the man endorses it all! So what makes Shah Rukh so believable? Is it just his looks, his personality, his public image or the way he conducts himself on and off screen? Or maybe it’s a combination of factors that have helped SRK build an aura of invincibility around himself — a persona of inspiration — to become the penultimate icon of the nation. For years now we have seen SRK on the big screen, fighting the most dreaded villains, being the ideal son, loving son-in-law, perfect big brother — not to mention a lover to die for! We hate it when he is down and out and we love it when he delivers those romantic lines. Such is the magic of Shah Rukh Khan — a man from a non-filmi background with no godfather to pull the strings and yet someone whose popularity and appeal goes way beyond region, nation, age and gender. Thus, it comes as no surprise that SRK has been successful in marketing the thanda thanda cool cool Navratna tel! In 2005, ITC Foods announced Shah Rukh Khan as the brand ambassador for their flagship brand, Sunfeast. Who would have thought that in a market dominated by Parle and Britannia, a new brand like Sunfeast would be able to carve a niche for itself? But ITC played its cards right and according to A.C. Nielsen’s retail sales audit of March 2006, both Parle and Britannia started loosing significant volumes of their business and brand Sunfeast ruled the charts. This is not just the make believe ‘good’ image of SRK that we see on screen which is compelling enough, it is also his magnetic off screen persona. His clean image, his honesty, his witty personality and most of all his intelligence that leaves little scope for consumers not to like him or believe in the brand he is selling. After all, if SRK is vouching for it, the brand must surely be special — believes the common man. Yes, SRK has worked at being the perfect role model for the masses. From highlighting his typical common man traits like his secular credentials (marrying a Hindu girl), his family man image (no romantic link ups, he dotes on his kids), fearlessness (against underworld dons) and popular friendship tales (with Karan Johar, Farah Khan, Aditya Chopra), Khan has made sure that his unimaginable success has never affected his image negatively. He has mastered the art of communication and public relations. Otherwise, why would a Compaq sell more in India as compared to the bigger brands? Yes, you’re right — when the Badshah is selling it, the others stand no chance. Despite all the big brands, endorsers and companies in the Indian Premier League, IPL worked best for SRK. Even though his team did not perform well in Season 2, Kolkata Knight Riders topped the charts with a Brand Value of $22 million as assessed by UK’s Intangible Business’ IPL Brand Value Scoreboard 2009. There is no shortage of brands today and no shortage of celebrities. Yet, very few associations seem to work. Many times, the celebrity in question tends to overshadow the brand. But not where SRK is concerned. With around 40 brands in his kitty, not only is he the highest endorser but also the most believable. The man complements every brand he endorses and makes consumers believe — this is the product for you! The author is an industry watcher Source : The Asian Age

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