Thursday, August 18, 2005
Dilwale Dulhania le gaye, aur ab...
It's close to 5 years since Kajol disappeared from Bollywood - one of the few actresses you wish would make a comeback. Well, that's exactly what's happening. Kajol is returning to the silver screen in a Yash Chopra film. Interestingly, it's opposite Aamir Khan - not SRK.
What I don't understand however is the sudden rash of endorsements she's taken up. And that too in 'hum saath saath hain' style with hubby Ajay Devgan.
First, there was the Whirlpool deal. Then came Kotak Mahindra. Now, Tata Indicom.
To be fair, the Indicom ad is actually very entertaining. Ajay plays a country bumpkin accompanied by his ghunghat mein dhaki hui bride.
The salesman at the cellphone shop tries to take them for a ride before Kajol lifts her pallu and in crystal-clear English demands the phone with 'maximum talktime'. Because that's what phones are for - talking. Humein bewakoof na samajhna!
It's a good ad because it's built around a consumer insight. Yet, it's interesting - and the celebrity couple have been used well.
Ek ya do bas!
However, if I were Kajol I would stop accepting any more ads... And believe me there will be many more offers. Because the laws of me-too inevitably operate when it comes to celeb endorsements.
The brand manager for some brand of biscuit or chai-patti is gonna see the Indicom ad and go "eureka"! That's what I need to add zing to my boring old brand... Kajol and Ajay Devgan.
And of course this ad will just show the celebs eating or drinking the product and saying "acchha hai". No insight, no effort, no story, no glory.
After a dozen such ads the viewer no longer remembers WHICH brand the celeb is endorsing anymore. I lost track of Amitabh somewhere after Dabur Chywanprash.
There's a reason why Hollywood stars act in any old Japanese commercial, but not for American dog-food. At least not in their prime... Listen up, Bollywood!
And Kajol, remember, your fans want to see more of YOU. Not as one half of a couple but as an independent entity! The memory of the Bhagyashree-Himalay fiasco still gives us nightmares...