Vicky Kaushal, Ayushmann Khurrana emerge new poster boys of ad world
The two young Bollywood actors have signed up close to a dozen brands each over the past six months, probably matching the pace at which they have been winning over movie buffs across the country with their performances in films such as Uri: The S...
The two young Bollywood actors have signed up close to a dozen brands each over the past six months, probably matching the pace at which they have been winning over movie buffs across the country with their performances in films such as Uri: The Surgical Strike and Andhadhun.
They have all that brands are looking for in these times — significant fan base across the country, a freshness quotient and, most importantly, they charge much less than the superstars at a time when companies are looking to optimise returns on investments.
“Apart from the freshness quotient, the fees the new stars charge is more reasonable than the Khan trio,” a senior executive at a leading talent management firm told ET.
Kaushal and Khurrana are learnt to be charging Rs 2-3 crore annually per brand, which is just about half the endorsement fee of the Khan trio of Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman, as well as Ranveer Singh and Ranbir Kapoor who, according to celebrity management executives, charge upwards of Rs 5 crore annually.
Experts also said Kaushal and Khurrana connect well with youngsters. “More brands want to talk to the millennials and the aspirational younger audience where these young and contemporary stars work the best,” said Atul Kasbekar, managing director at celebrity management firm Bling Entertainment.
“A calculated punt on them early, leading to better ROIs in the future is what is working well,” he told ET.
Khurrana represents 15 brands including Titan Eye Plus eyewear, Realme phones, Godrej Security Solutions, Magicbricks, Nexus Mall and Daniel Wellington watches, while Kaushal is associated with Havells India’s male grooming products, fashion retailer Reliance Trends, Police eyewear, Boult audio, travel portal Goibibo, Aegon Life insurer and Housing.com among others.
“Both these actors represent a new phase of advertising; they are not larger-than-life like the Khans, do not talk down to people, and are relatable in everyday situations,” said Rohit Ohri, chairman of advertising agency FCB India. “It’s a reflection of the choice of films they have been doing too.”
Kaushal and Khurrana came up on the Bollywood scene in the last couple of years with stellar performances in mostly small-budget films including some offbeat ones. While the Chandigarh boy acted in films such as Vicky Donor, Andhadhun, Badhaai Ho! and Article 15, Kaushal has had huge hits in Uri, Raazi and Masaan. And they shared the Best Actor National Award this year for Andhadhun and Uri, respectively.
“These are not the 'angry young men’,” brand consultant Harish Bijoor said. “They have brought cinema of a different kind with small budgets to the mainstream, they don’t talk over the top, are realistic, and have relatable boy-next-door image.”
Prasun Kumar, chief marketing officer at real estate portal Magicbricks, said the company is betting on Khurrana “as a long-term prospect”. “We are using Ayushmann to convey that a change of address can make a whole lot of good in your life… He has changed his address from Chandigarh to Delhi and then to Mumbai, and with each change he has grown in life and that’s the message we want to give.”
Magicbricks is a division of Times Internet, a subsidiary of Bennett, Coleman & Co, the owner of this newspaper.
Its rival firm Housing.com has Kaushal as its brand ambassador. “Vicky Kaushal has evolved into a multifaceted mega star with a universal appeal and is a true embodiment of our brand’s optimistic, progressive and pioneering spirit,” said Snehil Gautam, head of marketing at Housing.com.
“The last two years have proved to be a triumph for Vicky Kaushal, who has straddled the diverse worlds of independent and big-budgeted Bollywood productions. This makes him an ideal option for brands to have him as their ambassador,” said Sajay Moolankodan, director at entertainment marketing company Go Fish Entertainment, which has worked closely with Kaushik on endorsement deals.
Some market watchers warn that with about a dozen brands each under their belts, Khurrana and Kaushal could be inching towards overexposure with a host of advertising beamed across television channels, print and online.
Brands are not sweating over it, though.
“I don’t think I would be worried about Ayushmann being overexposed as long as I am able to use him in a proper manner and take my brand story or the proposition to the consumers in a differentiated manner.” said Madhav Sheth, chief executive at Realme India that hired Khurrana last month. “We were looking for a person for reaching out to tier three and four towns and we found him the right person where people can resonate the brand with an ideal person.”