Flops & Trolls: Is brand Akshay Kumar standing on a shaky ground?

Experts opine that the actor is bigger than a few box office blips and the masses still love him

by Mansi Sharma
Published - July 12, 2022
5 minutes To Read
Flops & Trolls: Is brand Akshay Kumar standing on a shaky ground?

One of the most popular actors of B-town, Akshay Kumar has been having a tough year thus far – a few months ago his association with a pan masala brand caused furrore and he has delivered two flops in a row: Bachchan Pandey & Samrat Prithviraj. Currently, he is facing some harsh trolling for his first look from his newly announced project ‘Capsule Gill’, based on the life of mining engineer Jaswant Singh Gill. His ‘lack of commitment to a role’ and ‘quickly wrapping up projects’ to deliver ‘four films a year’ is not sitting well with the audience. In fact, his fake moustache in Samrat Prithviraj had sparked this discourse on the web a few weeks ago. 

But can this criticism shake the brand value of the star, who remains in the top three celebrity endorsers of the country? 

Brand Akshay Kumar & its value

Akshay Kumar is one of the most successful actors in the industry right now – with most years lined up with multiple releases and most of them being blockbusters. While his early years in the film industry were defined by his macho action hero personality with a romantic tint, his image has evolved constantly past that – from comedy to nationalist, to a social hero. He has very easily managed to dissociate himself from being just an actor and has put forward other shades of his personality as well. 

As Thought Blurb Communications Founder & Chief Creative Officer Vinod Kunj puts it, “Today, Akshay Kumar is a media- savvy, canny businessman first, and an actor, second. Once you internalise that, things fall into place. A choosy creative person may say no to a project citing one of a million reasons, but a savvy businessman never says 'no' to good business.”

Infectious Advertising Head of Copy Chirag Raheja adds, “Over the years, many of his films have positioned him as the ‘coolest clown in town’ (refer Hera Pheri, Housefull), but on the other hand, he’s also done films that deliver compelling messages to society. And I think this goodness of heart makes a powerful statement about the kind of person he wants to be.”

And this gradual transition in his brand image has got him endorsing a slew of massy brands including the likes of Dabur Chyawanprash, Policy Bazaar, CarDekho, Harpic, Nirma, and PagarBook. 

In fact, he remains amongst the top celebrities in India when it comes to brand value as per Duff & Phelps reports. 



Valuation (USD Mn)

















Can trolls & flops harm it

As per a trade expert, hits and flops are a part of every actor’s journey and usually one-two failures do not leave a long-term impact on any star’s popularity or brand value. However, if the slew of flops continues, it might get difficult for him to maintain the star status that Kumar enjoys as of today. 

While Kumar is facing criticism for Capsule Gill, his next release, slated for August 11, Raskha Bandhan (directed by R Balki) is mostly getting positive feedback, as apparent from the comments on the trailer. The movie could break the flop flow for the actor as the story is right up his alley – he plays a common man with very common problems, a formula that has worked well for him since the late 2000s. But even Bachchan Pandey was a work that suited his action hero and comic image and was predicted by analysts to do well. 

However, marketing experts feel that brand Akshay Kumar is way above these minor blips. 

Raheja says, “In my humble opinion, the brand Akshay Kumar is far bigger than any of the roles he plays. Having been in the industry for so long, people resonate with his values and intent and the things he stands for (or against). I don’t think his brand value should fall because of one misfired shot. Anyway, he does three or four films a year, so if people perceive him based on his last film, he’ll have ample opportunities to redefine himself. Summing up, I believe he is already a legend, and will continue to drive memorability for any brand he endorses.” 

And the trolls are not exactly the audience that he is aiming to reach out to! 

Kunj quips, “English-speaking trolls do not necessarily constitute masses but yes, he is not as hot a property as he used to be a few years ago. Also, because he has to now contend with a slew of young, hungry actors. Having said that, one good movie and he'll have the masses eating out of his hands, again.” 

He concludes by saying, “Akshay is an actor with flaws, a person with fallibilities. That makes him real. That makes him accessible to people. As long as that is true he will be sought after by brands.” 

Conclusively, brand Akshay Kumar will continue to thrive despite these minor blips and occasional trolls.