Tolly’s new Ad-vantge
It sure pays to be a celebrity these days. The real barometer of a celeb’s iconic rise/successful stature is often measured by the brands he/she endorses. Ironically, while most leading Tollywood stars take home hefty pay cheques and are brand names themselves,
they have taken their time to be lured by the glamour and money that endorsements bring in. With the exception of A-list actors like Chiranjeevi, Mahesh Babu and Pawan Kalyan, who have campaigned for international cola brands, others haven’t become brand ambassadors even for local brands. But all that seems set to change, as the younger Tolly heartthrobs seem to have woken up to the advantages of endorsing brands.
Rising star Ram Charan Tej has been signed up as the brand ambassador for a leading soft drink in Andhra Pradesh, while a rival cola brand has hired Allu Arjun as its ambassador. Charan is the latest addition to the list of Chiranjeevi’s family members who have endorsed a cola in AP.
Tollywood actress Ileana is a lifestyle brand’s face in South India. Tolly hotties Asin and Genelia D’Souza have bagged prized endorsement projects after the success of their Bollywood movies Ghajini and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na respectively. While Asin has signed an endorsement deal to shake a leg with MS Dhoni for a shopping mall, Genelia will do ads for a soft drink and a chocolate brand. Today, Asin is the all-India brand ambassador for seven major products and reportedly makes more money from her endorsements than from films.
Mahesh Babu might take almost two years to decide on a film, but endorsed two brands and earned super bucks. Has he been paid a bomb? “We can’t talk about the remuneration. But a celeb ambassador makes it easier for the brand to connect with a larger section of people. His off-screen and on-screen persona definitely rubs off on the brand. His passion and go-getter image adds to our brand,” says a spokesperson of the soft drink brand he’s endorsing.
According to industry sources, Ram Charan Tej, the scion of Chiranjeevi’s family, was roped in for a fancy price tag too. “Ram Charan is Tollywood’s leading sensation who resonates youngsters’ core value with his thirst for life and confidence. He is the face of Andhra youngsters and is an inspiration for the new generation to follow their dreams,” says the spokesperson of the brand. “I am endorsing this product since it’s meant for the youth,” says Ram Charan, who shares screen space with Deepika Padukone in the commercial.
Sexy star Trisha claims, “Premium brands and good money is the key.” The actress has thumbed down many unhealthy ad offers. “I don’t want to be associated with harmful products,” she says.
Another new entrant to brand endorsements is Ileana. She’s just one commercial old. “I want to be selective, so I am just endorsing a branded product among a bunch of offers,” she says. More than the money, she wants to be part of A-line brands “I am stuck with film commitments, but in a couple of months, I will endorse more brands,” she adds.
Ad wiz Santosh Desai says that a celebrity is chosen on the basis of a product. “Be it an up-market product or mass-oriented product, a celebrity is chosen accordingly. The chosen one should definitely appeal to both the youth and masses. Stars help the brand. I don’t think ads are promoting gender stereotypes, since actresses are chosen for products beyond cosmetics. But makers try to cash in on their pretty faces.”
Rs 5-6 crore
Ram Charan Tej
Rs 3-4 crore
Rs 2-3 crore
Asin Rs 1.5 – 2 crore
Genelia Rs 1 crore
Trisha Rs 80 lakh-1 crore
Ileana Rs 70- 80 lakhs,
(Figures are based on industry estimates and are per endorsement)