Actor Ananya Panday, a 20-year-old debutante, has recently become the face of Mondelēz-owned chocolate brand Perk. Barely one film old, this is her fourth big brand endorsement. She first signed a deal with Hindustan Unilever’s skincare brand Lakmé last October, even before her debut film, Student Of The Year 2, hit theatres.
Similarly, Sara Ali Khan and Tara Sutaria, who made their film debuts recently, are already being wooed by brands.
Clearly, box office success, once considered the biggest yardstick for celebrity brand endorsements, has no significant bearing as young stars leverage their strong social media presence to bag brand deals.
Jahnvi Kapoor, launched by Karan Johar in Dhadak, has 4.9 million followers on Instagram. She represents cosmetic e-tailer Nykaa, Benetton Perfumes and premium lifestyle brand Tommy Hilfiger. Meanwhile, Fanta, Veet, Puma and ITC’s Fiama Scents bodywash have signed up Sara Ali Khan, who has 11 million Instagram followers.
These celebrities have been engaged by brands for the influence they exert via social media and their direct connect with consumers, with ad campaigns not only running on TV but also promoted on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
While Perk is running a television spot with Panday, for fashion brand Only, various ‘outfit of the day’ posts by the actor on social media are critical.
“Ananya has 3.7 million Instagram followers and these are people who love her. This definitely plays a huge part while we plan our outreach. Today, social media is a way of life. So, it becomes even more important for us to put out the right kind of content and at the right time too. Digital media is used regularly by us since that’s the media our target group consumes the most,” said Vineet Gautam, chief executive and country manager off Bestseller India, which owns the Only India brand.
Meanwhile, 23-year old Kapoor, the first celebrity endorser of Nykaa, is seen pushing make-up tutorials and multiple cosmetic-related posts on Instagram. She also promotes Benetton Perfumes through Instagram posts, which get a huge response in the form of likes, comments and shares.
“The association is conceptualized keeping in mind the millennial connect that Jahnvi and Benetton fragrances possess,” said Sundeep Chugh, CEO and managing director, Benetton India.
According to a McKinsey report, Indians spend about 17 hours a week on social media. Little surprise then that brands are finding it easy to ride on the significantly engaged and strong social media presence of emerging Bollywood actors.