From Be-bo to Be-gum: Brand equity of Kareena Kapoor Khan on the slide?

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kareena kapoor-malabarKareena Kapoor Khan, Bollywood star and Pataudi begum was seen on the cover page of February issue of the 121- year-old Vogue magazine which said, ‘KAREENA – On love, laughter and living the dream’. The month of April also had something in store for her, and this time, it was Malabar Gold and Diamond Jewellery… What a contrast?

While one gets down to think that married actresses can also steal the limelight by sitting on the cover page of a trendy international magazine like Vogue, it takes a minute to register as to why is it that Indian ad world starts equating a woman only as a bejewelled bride or a favourite mummy the moment she ties the knot?

A chauvinist ad world?

Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults

Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults

Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults, says, “Yes, there is chauvinism in brand endorsements and Indian ad world still has that male-dominated attitude.”

The brand value of a female star goes down the moment she ties the knot and gets into the married life mode. This is quite unlike in case of married actors that go on with their stardom both on big and small screen such as SRK, Akshay Kumar, and Aamir.

Bijoor adds, “Taking precedence from the past, Bollywood divas like Aishwarya Rai have not appeared in the same number and kinds of ads the way it was before. Therefore, it becomes quite evident that the graph will not be the same any more for Kareena too”.

Going forward, Bijoor says, “First of all, you start getting different profile of brands and secondly your fee or rate gets affected, which means the actress has to settle down for a lower price”.

However, looking at the positive side of it, experts feel that marketers can rope in more of star couples and increase their brand value like it has happened in case of Kazol and Ajay Devgan in Whirlpool as well as Sanjay Dutt and Manyata in Sangini Diamond jewellery.

For the record, Kareena Kapoor has endorsed Sangini Diamonds along with Salman Khan. While Sangini, from the house of Gitanjali are modern and minimalistic designs, in contrast, Malabar Gold represents a South Indian house known for heavy and gaudy work.


Minakshi Achan, co-Founder, Salt Brand Solutions

Coming in favour of Kapoor-Khan is Minakshi Achan, co-Founder, Salt Brand Solutions, who feels that to the actress’ credit, she hasn’t been dropped from endorsement assignments of Lakme or Lavie, as of now. She also feels that her marriage to a superstar only would add to her brand value. “Being an aspirational figure, Kareena continues to be a popular figure who is married to a popular film star like Saif Ali Khan and there is no reason for her brand value to go down,” she says.

‘Brand Equity Quotient’ of the Royal Pataudi Begum
While Malabar Group’s Chairman, MP Ahammed, was seen giving press statements like, “Kareena Kapoor is an epitome of beauty and style and we are extremely delighted to have her as our brand ambassador”, experts feel that her career graph might have some twists and turns.

Taking a cue from her previous ad campaign of Sangini Diamond Jewellery, whose theme was based on love and affection expressed by an admirer for his beloved through sleek diamond jewels, Malabar Group has kept the focus on the ‘Brides of India’ concept.

The actress was herself seen making press statements like, “I am happy to be associated with Malabar Gold and Diamonds who have introduced the Brides of India concept showcasing the traditional and vibrant rituals and colourful jewellery of brides across India,” Kapoor had said.

Brand Comparison – Malabar and Sangini
As compared to the Malabar Group which was incepted in 1993, Gitanjali came much before and was founded in 1966 to become one of the leading jewellery companies of India. Sangini Diamond Jewellery was originally introduced by the Diamond Trading Company (DTC), before being handed over to Gitanjali Gems. Also in terms of ‘Money Factor’, experts like Bijoor feel that Malabar’s budget would be lower than that of Gitanjali.

Win-Win Situation – For Brand and Brand Ambassador

Navin Kansal, Group Creative Director, Grey Worldwide

Navin Kansal, Group Creative Director, Grey Worldwide

Looking at the practical side of it, Navin Kansal, Group Creative Director, Grey Worldwide asks, “When a star like Amitabh Bachchan can endorse a brand like Kalyan Jewellers even though the tagline is ‘Trust’, then why can’t Kareena do something like Malabar.”

Kansal further augmented his argument by saying, “At the end of the day, it’s a ‘Money Game’. I am sure that these kinds of jewellery brands have got good money to spend on brand ambassadors and stars don’t mind this kind of moolah. So, it’s a win-win situation for both.”
He adds, “Big brands like HUL or P&G do not need big stars but smaller brands like Malabar do who would want to create a brand value for them and get more credibility in the market by getting a recognised face like Bebo.”

AG Krishnamurthy

AG Krishnamurthy, Chairman, AGK Brand Consult

Citing another example of Sachin Tendulkar, Kansal says, “When a big cricket star of Sachin Tendulkar’s stature can endorse Pune-based property developer, Amit Enterprises, which is not even a Mumbai based company, then why not others.”

For Malabar Gold & Diamonds, the new Begum of Pataudi was a perfect choice, as the brand, which claims to be world’s No 3 gold seller in terms of sales turnover, is opening 40 outlets in the coming months and out of this 20 will be in the northern India region. Their first showroom in Mumbai will be inaugurated on April 7. This will be followed by Rajkot (Gujarat) on April 14, Kurla (Mumbai) in April end. By May and June, it will open showrooms in Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Gurgaon (NCR). The company has targeted to open its 10oth showroom in Kolkata in the month of August

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