Sanjay Gupta, CEO, Disney-Star unveiled the Indian Institute of Human Brands’ (IIHB) ‘The Sparklers’ Report on Power Couples in India yesterday in Mumbai, in the presence of Dr. SandeepGoyal, the chief mentor of the Institute, and other senior members of the think-tank team.
The Mumbai-based Indian Institute of Human Brands (IIHB) yesterday unveiled its study on Power Couples in India (The Sparklers Report) with a comprehensive study of Virat-Anushka, Deepika-Ranveer, Ranbir-Alia, Akshay-Twinkle, Abhi-Ash and Saif-Kareena — the hottest, and commercially-most-in-demand couples in the country. “Power Couples are the new phenomenon in the brand endorsement business with many brands trying to sell aspirational and experiential products to millennial couples who are starting families, using famous couples as the ones to emulate. But there is no empirical research so far on what these Power Couples actually represent or how they are seen by potential audiences. At IIHB we decided to track each one of these trail-blazing couples over a set of 24 important brand attributes,” says Dr. SandeepGoyal, Chief Mentor of IIHB. “There is also an interesting throw-back study on Romantic Couples of Bollywood since Partition, something never researched before”.
Who are Power Couples?
A Power Couple is a couple who is famous and accomplished; and together seen to be successful and influential in society. More importantly, each of them is individually successful and influential. Together they are the epitome of what anyone would desire or want in a relationship. Hence, admired and emulatable.
Where did the term Power Couples come from?
It was during the FIFA World Cup 2006 that David Beckham and Victoria Caroline Adams (also known as Posh Spice from her singing days as part of The Spice Girls band) were a toast of the celebrity circuit. With media coverage of the World Cup including the wives and girlfriends (WAGS, as they are called) of the stars, David and Victoria Beckham became the original power couple for Indian celebrities to take a cue from. Today, the term is on steroids in Indian media.
Why did it take so long for India to have its own Power Couples?
The Power Couples Report gives interesting perspectives on how Bollywood and cricket could’ve given us these aspirational sparkler couples much earlier but a long list of famous celebrity couples … Dilip-Saira, Sunil Dutt-Nargis, Rajesh Khanna-Dimple, Amitabh-Jaya, NawabPataudi-Sharmila, Dharmendra-Hema, Rishi-Neetu, Gavaskar-Marshneil, Dhoni-Sakshi, Sachin-Anjali, Azhar-Bijlani … somehow fell short of the ‘famous-together’ threshold despite being well-known.
The IIHB Report earlier this year researched current ‘Sparklers’ and the six listed above – Virat-Anushka, Deepika-Ranveer, Ranbir-Alia, Akshay-Twinkle, Abhi-Ash and Saif-Kareena – were shortlisted for a more detailed study. Kajol-Ajay Devgn, Shahrukh-Gauri, Madhuri-Dr. Nene and Priyanka-Nick were also researched but their score together remained below acceptable threshold.
What are the key attributes to Power Couples?
Trustworthy, Respected, Fun, Distinctive, Charming, Different, Stylish, Progressive, and MFEO (Made-For-Each-Other) are some of the key Image, Human and Personality brand attributes that add value to Sparklers. The IIHB study covers 24 such attributes.
Who are the winners?
On select attributes:
Without a doubt, Virushka and DeepVeer top score across most attributes, with AksTwink a respectable third despite being much older. Ranbir-Alia despite not being married (the only unmarried couple in the Top6) do well too, especially on being seen as ‘Different’. Saifeena are ‘Stylish’ (after all he is a Nawab and she is true-blue Bollywood royalty) but Abhi-Ash who trail on most attributes are seen to be ‘Traditional’.
Pointers from the study
- All the couples are bunched together fairly close, yet have attributes that differentiate them, hence can be leveraged by brands.
- Virushka and DeepVeer are very close in imagery … they top score across the attributes.
- AksTwink are ‘Straight Forward’ and ‘Like Us’, hence most relatable. Brands need to leverage this in communication.
- Saifeena are ‘Up To Date’ and ‘Stylish’ but ‘Arrogant’.
- Abhi-Ash are the laggards of the survey. That may not be hard to explain … careers of both partners are largely in doldrums.
“So far very few Power Couple ads have been exceptional … the best, without doubt being the Maanyavar ad of Virushka. But most others including DeepVeer (Lloyd’s), RanbirAlia (Lay’s) and Saifeena (AirBnB) don’t really sparkle on creatives. Advertisers and their agencies need to carefully match brand attributes to those of the celebrity couple and maximize what the duo best stand for”, says Dr. Goyal.
The Romantic Couple survey in the later part of the Report shows various couple combos over the years with the honours going to:
- 1950s : Raj Kapoor and Nargis
- 1960s : Guru Dutt and Waheeda
- 1970s : Amitabh and Rekha
- 1980s : Amitabh and ParveenBabi
- 1990s : Shahrukh and Kajol
- 2010s : Ranbir and Deepika
Amitabh Bachchan is paired amongst the best in two decades with two different heroines. India’s most famous romantic hero Rajesh Khanna doesn’t make the grade despite famous pairings with Sharmila Tagore, Asha Parekh and Mumtaz.
The Indian Institute of Human Brands has already done well-acclaimed reports on celebrities, covered extensively in media. The IIHB will be releasing its TIARA Report in January 2020 covering 180 celebrities from Bollywood, cricket, television, sports, music and more, with a sample of 60,000+ in 23 cities. A report so large and comprehensive has not been done before in India.