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View Poll Results: Do Celebrities help sell cars or promote a new brand?
Yes, they help sell cars. 9 7.89%
Maybe. Celebrity endorsements definitely help in introducing a new car brand to the masses 49 42.98%
No. Celebrities are a waste of money 52 45.61%
I will buy a Premier Rio if Katrina endorses it. 4 3.51%
Voters: 114. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 9th June 2010, 11:03   #1
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Default Celebrity Brand Ambassadors - Do they help sell cars?

FMCG companies like Hindustan Lever, Garnier etc love celebrities - they sign them up to promote their fairness cream or shampoo or fruit juice. The idea behind signing up celebrities is -

- Instantaneous brand recognition with customers
- Distributors are more eager to stock & promote a product endorsed by a celebrity
- Curiosity factor.

In recent times, some of car companies too have signed up celebrities to promote their product/company. A few examples -

- Sachin Tendulkar (For Fiat Palio)
- Yuvraj Singh (For Fiat Punto)
- Aamir Khan (For Toyota Innova)
- John Abraham (Yamaha bikes)
- Abhishek Bachchan (Ford Fiesta)
- Amitabh Bachchan (Maruti Versa)
- Shah Rukh Khan (Hyundai Santro & Hyundai i10)

And now, Nissan Motor has signed up Ranbir Kapoor as their brand ambassador.
Nissan Motor India Pvt Ltd | NMIPL | Actor Ranbir Kapoor | Official Brand Ambassador - Oneindia Living

Looking at the above list, it is not clear whether celebrities actually help sell cars or not - because while some cars have been duds (Versa), a few others have been a resounding success (Santro).

My personal take on whether celebrities help sell cars or not -

Signing up a celebrity is a great way to introduce a new brand to the masses. For example - I think Shah Rukh Khan helped Hyundai a lot in establishing itself in India as very few people had heard about a "hyundai" before. So Nissan is doing the right thing here.

But celebrities cannot help sell a car (product) - whether the car is a success or not depends on how good it really is.
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Old 9th June 2010, 11:11   #2
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i cannot think of any other success stories other than SRK

You need a good product and some creative advertising for cars rather than celebrities. How much ever u endorse these celebs wont drive these cars they endorse. Not that it matters but we know better
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Old 9th June 2010, 11:11   #3
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Hyundai Santro's success was attributed to Shah Rukh Khan endorsing it. This I read in some magazine a long time back. Another success story is Priyanka Chopra's catch for HH Pleasure 'Why should boys have all the fun'. Others I am not sure have really helped a car or a bike sell.
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Old 9th June 2010, 11:18   #4
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Ideally it should have no bearing which celebrity/famous person is endorsing a certain car brand as buyers should only consider their requirements and match it to the features of the car they are buying.

But then like in the thread about unnecessary and unexplainable passion about car brands, it also exists for celebrities - hence definitely there are some people who are drawn to a certain brand due to the people who endorse it.
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Old 9th June 2010, 11:24   #5
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Well, looking at the product, I can recall the brand ambassador. However, I NEVER buy things based on the person who promotes the product or what fancy things the product does. I pity those who buy things based on their favourite icon.

BTW - Who's the brand ambassador for Accent/Corolla/Altis/Ikon/Beat/Swift/M800/Alto? I hope all these cars are popular selling ones without any brand ambassadors. IMO, if the product is weak, then one needs to boost the sales with some catalyst & the add on cost is passed on to the customers. If the brand is good, it speaks for itself.

@Smartcat - May be you should've done this as a poll
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Old 9th June 2010, 11:31   #6
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Poll has been added!

Oh yes, I forgot about Priyanka Chopra's endorsement of Hero Honda Pleasure - brilliant ad that is.
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Old 9th June 2010, 11:35   #7
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The best example that comes to my mind is thumbs up ad . They have different celebrities endorsing the same product for different regions . A shah rukh khan wouldnt sell in Tamil nadu , AP , or Kerala or the product will not even get recogonised . A rajini kanth , Mahesh Babu , Mohanlal will have much better reach than anyone else . I am sure very few in the rural parts of Tamil nadu would not even recogonise Shahrukh .
So ultimately stars will not help sell a product . Especially when a cricketeer tells u that a particular brand of oil has friction boosters . LOL

People closely associated with motor sports help sell a product . For example Narain and Amaron .
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Old 9th June 2010, 11:42   #8
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Originally Posted by arunsasi View Post
i cannot think of any other success stories other than SRK
Not true. Yamaha - John relationship has worked wonders for the brand. The fit is perfect and thankfully Yamaha have started launching some decent bikes to keep up with John's image.

Also, Amir Khan helped Innova from being typecasted as a taxi car. That was his job as the BA and i think he did it decently well.

Priyanha's endorsement of HH is cool and Hrithik endorsing the Karizma has wooed a lot of buyers.

The disasters were surely Versa-Bachchan & Yuvi-Punto. I dont think Sachin-Palio and Abhi-Fiesta were so bad coz they helped their brands to start off well. After that its the quality of product that matters. Also, in case of Ford they stopped Abhishek coz his films were going from bad to worse :P

Overall I think celebs help till you know how, when and how much to use them...
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Old 9th June 2010, 11:51   #9
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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post

- Sachin Tendulkar (For Fiat Palio)
- Yuvraj Singh (For Fiat Punto)
- Aamir Khan (For Toyota Innova)
- John Abraham (Yamaha bikes)
- Abhishek Bachchan (Ford Fiesta)
- Amitabh Bachchan (Maruti Versa)
- Shah Rukh Khan (Hyundai Santro & Hyundai i10)

From the above list, only John Abraham & SRK come to mind as the success stories. John is present in most of the Yamaha events being a serious biker himself ! SRK has done a good job in the Hyundai adverts.
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Old 9th June 2010, 11:54   #10
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I agree that celebrities help in introducing new brands to the people, and as many have noted, beyond that, it is the quality of the product that determines the ultimate success or failure.

Also, I feel not just using celebrities in the ads, but also the exact message the ad conveys through the celebrities is very important. For example, if I remember it right, Hyundai used SRK to give some message like "our cars have better mileage without compromising on power" and "made for India first, and then sold to the rest of the world" etc., which the masses here could understand and to some degree appreciate. Whereas when Fiat used Yuvraj to say that the Punto was "bold drive", I guess not many could understand what this means, and even fewer could appreciate the bold drive. Masses remember (at least in short term) what the celebrities say in the ads. So the message is very critical.

P.S. I am not saying what Hyundai said was right or wrong, or true or false. All I am saying is that the "right" message (even if it is a lie) may work if conveyed through a celebrity, and conversely, a "wrong" message (even if it is true) is unlikely to work if conveyed through a celebrity.

Last edited by Dr.AD : 9th June 2010 at 11:56.
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Old 9th June 2010, 12:29   #11
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Celebraties are a waste of money for the car if it by itself does not have star power, the punto / palio did not sell any better for yuvraj or Sachin, nor does the hyundai sell any more on account of SRK, or the Innova for Amir, infact if star power sold a vehile the double ammunition of AB and baby AB for the Versa should have worked.

I believe that in the case of cars, the model/celeb is the car itself and it must be shown in the right light and with the correct messaging.
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Old 9th June 2010, 12:44   #12
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A NEW brand needs to reach people. To realize this objective, having a celeb to endorse the product is one way.

Now does it help in selling a car? I don't think so. The brand/car gets more space in the minds of the people. That's all.

The ONE & ONLY Celeb endorsed resounding success story in India is SRK-Hyundai. A never heard before brand in India reached the minds of people by a brilliantly planned and executed campaign. But lets keep in mind, Hyundai and it's car the Santro lived up to the hype generated by it's ad campaign. If that didn't happen, even God endorsing the product won't help.

Case in point -> Sachin endorsed FIAT. Nothing changed for FIAT.

I think this topic has come up, with Ranbir endorsing Nissan Micra. Frankly speaking, not a great idea. Ranbir is no SRK. How far is his reach in India beyond Bollywood?

Let's see the recent launches/ad campaigns,
VW Polo - Big money spent on HUGE print/outdoor ads. Overnight exposure. VW is a PREMIUM brand in India now!!
Ford Figo - I don't think huge money was spent. They saved the ad money to sell the car at a low price? Perhaps. BUT I observe that they used the ONLINE resources to the BEST. Getting the bloggers to visit the plant for eg.
Chevy Beat - 1 TVC is all it had. Lame effort.
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Old 9th June 2010, 13:04   #13
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For me only the Khans were the success stories for Hyundai & Toyota esp the Toyota ad where Aamir is diff screen forms did justify the versitality of the SUV. Rest of them are just for names sakes.
Even Sachin's Palio ad was way way long back I think before the partnership with TATA. And nothing has been done by Yuvraj either. I remember GM having Saif Ali Khan and Rani mukherji for the Aveo & Saif only for the Uva but they too not success stories and did not generate enough moolah.
Hell I cant imagine Rohit Ball being BA for the Outlander of all people. Does common man know Rohit at all.
Better for the companies to save on brand promotions, more VFM features rather than going for B-wood celebrities. Finally as some one said its the machine that will speak for itself.
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Old 9th June 2010, 13:13   #14
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I pesonally feel that it does make a difference, specially in the rural and semi rural market.luxury car makers like BMW and Mercedes have never taken the help of celebreties, yet you see how BMW has replaced mercedes as the top luxury car maker in 4-5 years.
It entirely depends on the car segment and the target customer base.

Last edited by SILVERWOOD : 9th June 2010 at 13:15. Reason: Comments
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Old 9th June 2010, 13:14   #15
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1) Voted for No. Classic example is Petra that was endorsed by The Cricket God Sachin Tendulkar. The car failed miserably. IMO, Siena sold more that Petra.

2) Celebrities are a waste of money. Look at the SRK ad for i10 1.2. In the ad SRK shifts from from a lower gear to higher gear at slow speed to get real acceleration. A big joke.

Who was brand ambassador for G3HC ? Or SX4 ? IIRC, none, but these two are the only cars that are available with single engine and fuel ( not even CNG or LPG option ).

Its the product that will make for itself and then luck factor, but not these celebrities.
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