Screen Survey 2013: Brand Amitabh Bachchan

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Thirty seven per cent believe that Amitabh Bachchan is the biggest brand in Bollywood today. Reuters Thirty seven per cent believe that Amitabh Bachchan is the biggest brand in Bollywood today. Reuters
SummaryThirty seven per cent believe that Amitabh Bachchan is the biggest brand in Bollywood today.

Amitabh Bachchan might as well reclaim the title of the One-Man Industry with him topping the Screen Survey as an actor with the biggest brand value in Bollywood.

After topping the Screen Annual Survey 2012 on the biggest legend of all times, Amitabh Bachchan tops the Screen Annual Survey 2013 yet again.

Thirty seven per cent believe that he is the biggest brand in Bollywood today. Leagues ahead of the current crop of actors, which include Shah Rukh Khan (14 per cent), who propelled the brand wave in the nineties to the new-age turk Ranbir Kapoor (8 per cent). Interestingly, a quality associated with the legend is ‘Humility’ — the only actor with that distinction on the survey.

As an individual though, the actor, who’s been showered with many monikers to his credit include the Angry Young Man, the One-Man Industry, Shahenshah and Big B, continues to loom large over the world of Indian cinema and entertainment at 71.

In the 40-odd years of his life as an entertainer, he's done it all —films, television hosting, stage-shows, music, dance, voice overs and he also holds fort in cyberspace. In the past one year, he’s added more feathers to his cap with being the first Indian actor to carry the Olympic torch during the last leg of its relay in London's Southwark and a cameo debut in Hollywood as a non-Indian Jew in Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby.

Ask what makes Bachchan special during the survey, and qualities like Talented (18 %t), Excellent at his craft (12 %), Intelligence (11 %), Hard working (8 %) and Versatile (6 %) were attributed to him. Bachchan seems to also fulfill all the criteria listed in the survey to be the biggest brand — presence on social networking sites and appreciation in Hollywood and international forums. There’s no dearth on the latter, which got triggered off in 1999, where Bachchan was awarded 'the greatest star of stage or screen' of the millennium in a BBC online poll followed by the installation of his wax statue in the prestigious Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum making him the first living Asian to be featured there. It’s no wonder that 41 per cent believe that there’s no better brand ambassador than Big B for Indian cinema on a global platform.

Don’t ever for a moment think that the actor intends to put a full stop to an illustrious career. There’s more up his sleeve — acting in a fiction serial on television is just another beginning.

TRIVIA

* Amitabh Bachchan has won four National Awards, which includes Best Newcomer — Saat Hindustani (1970) and three for Best Actor – Agneepath (1190), Black (2005) and Paa (2009).

* The Walter Reade Theatre of Lincoln Center in New York honoured Amitabh Bachchan with a special tribute, retrospective — titled ‘Amitabh Bachchan: The Biggest Film Star in the World’.

* The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) hosted a Bachchan spectacular retrospective in 2007. The actor is an honorary lifetime member of BAFTA.

*He was honoured with the ‘Global Diversity Award’ in the British Parliament this month, where the Speaker described him as “Bollywood icon and the most famous Indian film star of all time.”

* Internet savvy, Bachchan is an active blogger, vogger (voice blogging) and enjoys an immense following on social networking sites —Twitter (6,314,896) and Facebook (5,527,587).

BRAND SPEAK

Big B takes the modest route characteristic of him, when talking of his brand value

What according to you contributes to a star’s brand value — his work, monetary position, ads, social intiatives he is part of and so on?

Before we get into the calisthenics of ‘star brand value’, we need to understand first what 'brand' means. And when you think of it, many expressions and explanations tumble out :

*A product manufactured by a particular company

*A particular identity or image regarded as an asset

*A particular type or kind of something

*An identifying mark burned on livestock or (especially in former times)

*Criminals or slaves with a branding iron: the brand on a sheep identifies it as mine

*A habit or quality that causes someone public shame or disgrace: mark with a branding iron

*Regulations concerning the branding, movement, and sale of cattle

*Mark indelibly

*Mark out as having a particular bad or shameful demeanour

*The promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design

*Old English brand 'burning' of Germanic origin; related to German Brand, also to burn. Dating back to Middle English era around the 17th century.

*Dynamic pricing

*Marketer

*Monopoly

*Officer

*Prototype

*Publicity

*Quality assurance

*Up sell

Flooded with these intricate and comprehensive meanings, do we really need to find an explanation for 'a star's brand value'. Some where within this list is an obvious and somewhat outlandish description of what star's could be defined with, including some rather discreet intonations as well ..

However, if your article does not give space for such intricacy, there could be a more cryptic response — A bit of all those supposed assets that you mention!!

Considering you were the first to understand the concept of an artist as a brand and get an evaluation of sorts done in order to start ABCL, what would you say is the USP of Brand Big B? And what has helped it stand the test of time?

During our various meetings with prospective investors for a private placement for ABCL, a sunrise enterprise, a first attempt as you rightly put, on evaluating the worth of an artist, this was exactly what our presenters were putting forward to those that were going to fund such an enterprise — “how does one evaluate a human being ... they are all priceless”! There was no plant machinery or formulae, the obvious requisites for a financial placement, to armour ourselves with. My answer to your query would ring a similar tone. How can I possibly communicate what my USP is without sounding like an overfed alien, bloated with arrogance!”

— in reply to Priyanka Sinha Jha over email

What's in a name?

Plenty if showbiz tags are anything to go by. Here’s looking

at a few star tags

Aamir Khan

Perfectionist

Aamir Khan is known to be particular with whatever he lays his hands on. For him, everything has to be in order, thus he was tagged as the perfectionist.

Akshay Kumar

Khiladi Kumar

The Khiladi title brought Akshay Kumar immense luck and success at the box-office. He got the tag after his Khiladi series of films.

Amitabh Bachchan

Angry young man

The lanky young Amitabh Bachchan became popular as the Angry Young Man of Bollywood with his character of Inspector Vijay Khanna in Zanjeer. In a career spanning four decades, he has been seen in over 180 films where he mostly played the aggressive hero.

Dev Anand

Evergreen

Dev Anand was called as the evergreen hero as he was the longest serving actor and film-maker till his death in 2011. Even in his old age, he never lost his charm. He was also famous for his buttoned up shirts, suave looks and slick hair styles.

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