The Bachchan brandwagon rolls on even at 80 | The Financial Express

The Bachchan brandwagon rolls on even at 80

Bachchan is the second-richest Bollywood actor in 2022 with an estimated net worth of $500 million (Forbes), and a total of 247 movie releases under his belt, besides another six at various stages of production.

The Bachchan brandwagon rolls on even at 80
According to various estimates, Bachchan takes home anything between `8 lakh and `12 lakh per endorsement, depending on the time requisitioned by the brand.

By Alokananda Chakraborty

He is the most recognised celebrity in India, according to Hansa Research’s Brand Endorser report for 2022. The actor who turns 80 on Tuesday, leads the likes of much younger MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Akshay Kumar, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan by a wide margin.

He has endorsed at least 30 brands till date, besides appearing in campaigns for government schemes such as Swachh Bharat, Atal Pension Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana.

So what continues to make Amitabh Bachchan the brand endorsement colossus when companies have dozens of young achievers to choose from? Why is the actor-producer, television host, occasional playback singer and former politician still the advertisers’ safest bet? Can any other celebrity endorser ever hope to challenge l’affaire d’amour that has blossomed between Bachchan and the Advertiser?

Consider this: In the last six months alone, upGrad, Dabur Red paste, Kerala-based footwear manufacturing company VKC Group, MediBuddy and most recently Omara Dates have struck multi-crore endorsement deals with Bachchan. Add to that last year’s Welspun Flooring, Rhiti Entertainment, CoinDCX, MaxKleen, Howzat Legends League Cricket, Muthoot Finance associations and you have a dozen active endorsement deals for the star.

His appeal as an endorser follows his achievements elsewhere. Bachchan is the second-richest Bollywood actor in 2022 with an estimated net worth of $500 million (Forbes), and a total of 247 movie releases under his belt, besides another six at various stages of production. He is at No. 8 in Forbes’ list of highest-paid actors in Bollywood in 2022. He has also hosted television shows such as Aaj Ki Raat Hai Zindagi and Kaun Banega Crorepati, which is in its 14th season.

Most advertisers agree that irrespective of the sector or the challenge before their brand, they have at some point toyed with the idea of riding the popularity and goodwill that the actor enjoys, and use the positive rub-off of the association to benefit their brand. Be it in terms of recall or acceptability, or both. If only their budgets permitted.

According to various estimates, Bachchan takes home anything between `8 lakh and `12 lakh per day, per endorsement, depending on the time requisitioned by the brand. His social media presence also makes him a big draw among brands looking to connect with consumers inhabiting the digital space. He has 47.8 million Twitter followers (No. 30 globally, right after PMO and Virat Kohli from India) and another 31.4 million followers on Instagram. Analysts say with that sort of following, a regular ambassador could take home a cool `75 lakh per post. And if you are Amitabh Bachchan, it’s anybody’s guess.

That apart, if you expect Bachchan to be part of a live event, be ready to shell out a minimum of `5 crore; in this club he has the likes of Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Ranveer Singh and Hrithik Roshan for company.

Piyush Pandey, Ogilvy’s chairman, global creative, & executive chairman, India, says it’s Bachchan’s extreme passion, versatility, and dedication that make him the most bankable brand endorser till date. Pandey’s association with Bachchan goes back three decades; he was the one who roped in Bachchan to endorse Cadbury Dairy Milk when the brand was trying to live down the ‘worm controversy’ that tailed it for much of 2003. Bachchan was deemed the best bet to rebuild consumer confidence in the brand.

“This is a perfect fit between Bachchan and Cadbury chocolates — their timelessness, and the love and trust they both share with people across India, makes this an ideal partnership,” Cadbury India’s then managing director Bharat Puri had said. “Moreover, Bachchan has a universal appeal that extends to everyone from six years to 60, just as Cadbury’s chocolates do.”

So if Dabur Chawanprash wants to perk up demand, it looks at Bachchan; if FirstCry needs a voice of assurance, there is Bachchan; and when the Pulse Polio campaign needs a voice that would convey anger and humour in the same breath, Bachchan is your go-to guy.

In other words, Amitabh Bachchan is the complete package. Still.

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First published on: 10-10-2022 at 08:19 IST