Now, stars have real brand value

Written by Kavitha Venkatraman | Hyderabad, Sep 29 | Updated: Sep 30 2007, 08:48am hrs
Would you be surprised if Mahendra Singh Dhoni or Priyanka Chopra came calling for your house warming ceremony

A number of real estate developers are roping in celebrities from all walks of life to endorse projects. In fact, experts say appointing a brand ambassador is becoming a trend with Indian companies and real estate players are fast learning the ropes of the game. The list of players who have already signed up celebrities includes property developer EMGEE which has bollywood star Bipasha Basu as its brand ambassador, Skyline Constructions and Housing Pvt Ltd has signed up Rahul Dravid, Kochi-based SRK Constructions has K J Jesudas, Arun Excello has brought in actor Madhavan to promote its township Estancia in Chennai and VGN Enterprises has recently roped in Mandira Bedi. Other real estate companies are also evaluating the possibility.

According to Suresh Kumar Jain, MD of Vijay Shanthi Builders, We do not rule out the possibility of having a brand ambassador. However, we are not in a hurry as we believe that our work should speak for itself. Also, I believe the brand ambassador should be related to the construction industry. Someone who has contributed towards various areas of the industry could be our choice.

Having a brand ambassador for regular residential projects may not really help. However, it could add value to premium housing projects with specific themes and projects like health cities, says sales and marketing head of Indu Projects, Mahender Basani. At the moment, we have not tied up with anyone. But we are thinking of associating with someone in the knowledge space who can add value to the IT/ITES SEZ projects, he added.

VGN Enterprises, which has roped in Mandira Bedi, feels having a person to promote its projects has helped. VGN has got a tremendous response... We were able to sell 75% of our La Parissiene project in 10 days of its launch, says Pratish Devadoss, director of the company.