‘Two flops don’t dent star power’
– Ambi Parameswaran, Brand Coach, Brand Strategist, and Founder Brand-Building.com
Celebrity endorsement does not rise and fall with every hit or flop. Brands sign up stars on long term deals of two or three years. Before they sign up they do analysis of the celebrities long standing fan base and recognition. That is used to select a celebrity and negotiate a fee arrangement. Just because a film star had one flop or two flops does not dent their star power. Similarly just one or two hits will not bring tens of big brands to your door. That said brands are today looking at some opportunistic partnerships which are short term deals done for digital media promotions. For those they may pick a star who had a hit and use that star for a few months. But at a different level of fees.
‘Popularity of the star decreases with each failure’
– N Chandramouli, CEO, TRA Research
Box office duds, those which result from poor movie making, are extremely damaging for actors as endorsers, as the popularity of the star decreases with each failure at the box office. However, some box office failures are good movies but unfortunately do not catch viewer fancy, but instead get (good) critic reviews – such movies are much less damaging for endorsers.
‘People and brands accept stars for long-term aura and appeal’
– Dhruv Jha, Co-Head Mediabrands Content Studio, India
If we were great soothsayers, we still would never be able to predict cinema hits/failures. Brands understand this. There may be some amount of dent due to dud releases, but people at large accept stars for their overall long term aura and appeal. A dud movie may have a temporary impact but for big stars the value does not really come down. Mature brands recognise this and accept the endorsement value the star brings to the table and the corresponding fees.
A star is larger than one /two films. But if it becomes a pattern, then there is cause for concern and consideration.
‘With box office hits, stars become brand ambassador hits’
– Jagdeep Kapoor, Founder & CMD, Samsika Marketing Consultants
As per the Samsika ‘Act with Impact’ module, brand ambassadors can enhance or dent their image, reputation and earnings based on what impact their act, has. Over the years, many actors and their acts have created huge impact leading to them soaring earnings in the advertising endorsements world. With box office hits, they also become brand ambassador hits. They are flooded with endorsement deals. Here is where discretion plays an important role, in choice of brands and ads. Over-exposure could dent their image and earnings.
On the other hand, box office flops bring the value of the actors down along with offers of endorsements. The only ones who survive and still grow, are those who are performing ‘act with impact’ on other platforms like television. Other activities, compensate for the flops on the big screen. Some have endorsement value even after retirement, because their other activities allow them to ‘Act with Impact’ and their value is intact. Ultimately, performance matters. Good performance, in a flop film, may still have value and bad performance in a hit film, may reduce endorsement value.
‘A superstar’s fan base doesn’t follow any norm’
– Mukesh Vij, Founder of Hashtag Orange
There are actors, and then there are superstars. An actor’s fortune may be impacted by a dud, but a superstar has a fan base that doesn’t follow any norm. When Ra.one and Prithviraj Chauhan bombed, the fans of Shahrukh and Akshay Kumar didn’t care. These superstars still reign supreme in their fans’ hearts. And that’s all these superstars need to stay in demand. And honestly, that’s all that brands need.
‘OTT performance and social media following also critical’
– Himanshu Arora, Co-Founder, Social Panga
Content consumption has moved out from the cinemas to other channels also, which is OTT, social media. This also plays a very important role when it comes to brand endorsement and fees.
When fewer people are watching them in cinemas, it doesn’t mean that people aren’t watching them; they may be watching them on OTT. Take the example of Janhvi Kapoor. Now, none of her movies is a big hit in cinemas, but she has done a couple of movies which have released on OTT and people remember her face. Once people remember her face, as a brand ambassador she has a recall value.
Or, take an example of Siddharth Malhotra. None of his films has become that big a hit. ‘Shershaah’ was a hit on OTT. So, again people remember him because he has been seen on OTT platforms.
So I don’t think movies flopping in cinemas will impact too much on brand value of the stars. These stars have been built over the course of a few years; one or two bad years doesn’t impact them too much.
What also matters is their social media presence, especially Instagram followers. If they have massive Instagram followers, people see them, and thus brands want to associate with them.