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Brand Ambassadors and Sales

The modern world is filled with advertisements, and it is hard to get noticed. Differentiation is difficult to set and so is to get the viewer’s attention.

The various marketing tools like magazines, newspapers, billboards, websites, radio and television etc. are all cuddled up to steal even the customer’s smallest fraction of time, so that they can blabber out everything attractive about their product.

But the whole battle between brands is the war of relevance!! The challenge of the marketer is to find a hook that will hold the subject’s attention.

The answers to the questions like –

What makes a message different enough to be passed on? How to make it relevant enough to create an impact? How to successfully advertise your product so that the customer’s share the craze of the brand — even if your product doesn’t inspire Mercedes like fervor? etc needs to be found out.

Is the answer having brand ambassadors? Let’s find out.

McCracken’s (1989) definition of a celebrity endorser is, “any individual who enjoys public recognition and who uses this recognition on behalf of a consumer good by appearing with it in an advertisement (marcom), is useful, because when celebrities are depicted in marcom, they bring their own culturally related meanings, thereto, irrespective of the required promotional role.

Endorsers are seen as dynamic tools with very amazing qualities and companies plan to transfer these qualities to products via marcom activities. One of the early examples is Queen Victoria’s endorsement of Cadbury’s Cocoa (Sherman, 1985).

In present times, we can take the example of Nakshatra diamond jewellery. Aishwariya Rai, was signed up as the brand ambassador for the launch of the brand in 2004, which talked about mysticism.

Within the first year of its launch, Nakshatra had acquired a significant market share. Today, it has become the leading branded jewellery collection in the country. As per internet reviews it has achieved 93% awareness levels amongst its target audience. In the year 2008, Gitanjali bought the brand from DTC and co-incidentally the contract with Aishwarya Rai was getting over. After proper market study and feedback from channel partners, the company appointed Katrina Kaif as the new brand ambassador for Nakshatra and positioned her as the goddess of luck. This shows how important the brand ambassador is for the promotion of the product as it has a direct relation to the sales and profits.

Thumbs up was launched by Parle Agro Pvt. Ltd to fill the void left by the government ban on American soft drinks giant Coca-Cola in the 1970’s. Thumbs up signed actor Salman Khan to portray an Indian Air Force fighter pilot winning in the skies, pre-empting a Pepsi promotion with Tom Cruise’s role in the movie “Top Gun”. Today, Thumbs Up has a 16 percent market share, with soft drinks Sprite and Pepsi at 15 and 13 percent respectively. Internet reviews suggest that Thumbs Up is also eating the market share of Mountain Dew as its advertisement is also targeted at the young and the adventurous.

Coca-Cola simply re-invested in Thumbs Up’s 20-year-old “Taste the Thunder” campaign, naming actor Akshay Kumar as the new brand ambassador.

For wheel detergent too, Salman Khan’s affirmation as the brand’s ambassador turned out to be very fruitful.

All this justifies something that Aristotle once said, “Beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of introduction.”

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