With Sachin and Saurav, Amitabh and Preity Zinta appearing in too many ads to make any material difference to the brands they endorse, advertisers are signing on an entirely new class of celebrity.
It's about time, coz study after study shows that celebrity endorsements are becoming increasingly ineffective, although this varies across cultures and target groups.
Certainly, young people are becoming increasingly indifferent to a "I use this soap, so should you" kind of endorsement in India as well. The connect has to happen at a deeper much level.
Coke has just announced that it is signing up Jassi, Rajyavardhan Rathore to endorse the brand in India. This is the first time the brand is moving out of the Bollywood-cricket celebrity circuit.
"Both Singh and Rathore are seen as achievers, as go-getters in real life. They have stepped out of the shadows of anonymity to fame by the sheer dint of their hard work, " said Vikas Gupta, V-P Marketing, Coca-Cola, speaking to the TOI.
Hmm. So, the age of the Underdog is here. Even Abhishek Bacchhan, the current superhero, darling of the masses is all the more loved for the fact that he had to struggle through flop after flop before finally making an impact.
Then, there was Iqbal.
But, there is a thin line between being a loser, and an underdog.
Losers whine, while underdogs eventually shine
Losers blame the world for their problems, while underdogs try to see the problems in themselves, as well.
Losers are victims of their circumstances, underdogs overcome them
In that context, it's hard to understand how both Jassi and Rathore qualify as "go-getters". Jassi is a fictional characer. Mona Singh is playing a role - she herself was a successful model before getting into acting.
The old Jassi was an underdog. The new Jassi is a loser.
And Rathore - India's only individual silver medallist at the Olympics - is really in a class of his own!
What next: Pepsi and Abhijeet Sawant?