India is a nation that thrives on celebrity endorsements. Some of the most popular athletes, film stars and musicians have helped brands grow purely by their mutual association. Brands such as Pepsi have been endorsed by Shah Rukh Khan and MRF by Sachin Tendulkar for decades so that the audience identifies them better.
The evolution of celeb endorsements grew up a notch after the growth of social media. People can access their favourite celebrities with a simple smartphone, and the celebrity brand endorsement market is evolving with the way they’re structuring deals nowadays.
What to expect from celebrity endorsement?
Brands are using celebrities to evolve from plain one-time endorsement deals to bigger partnerships that involve pay structures such as royalties, equity deals, joint ventures, arrangements and even strategic partnerships for merchandising. The norm was for endorsement contracts to be structured in two ways – one with a fixed fee, and a fixed term of engagement (mostly 1 year), and the other is a one-time engagement for a certain season or specific requirement.
In the first model, celebrities generally get contracted for a fixed sum that’s split as pre- and post-endorsements. These celebs are called “brand ambassadors”. The latter generally also involves an appearance by the celeb for a specific campaign or special event. This kind of celebrity endorsement in advertising can be in the form of a photoshoot or ad or even event attendance.
For example, Flipkart used their popular Big Billion Day sale in October last year to employ a whole host of celebrities across industries. This included Deepika Padukone, Virat Kohli, Amitabh Bachchan, MS Dhoni, Saurav Ganguly, Diljit Dosanjh, Saina Nehwal, Sunil Chettri and more!
How do the products gain?
The deal value is generally discussed by the product’s prestige and they have a certain deal for the celebs to post on social media too. Depending on what the requirement is, brands can negotiate for videos, static posts, stories and even short Reels for example. Brands that might be perceived negatively are charged higher fees, but those that are appealing can negotiate a strong endorsement fee in exchange for being represented and associated with that particular brand.
These celebrity endorsement deals structures evolve depending on the needs of the endorsers and will evolve with technological advancements. The next year should see the same trend, with celebrities going forth and creating identities for brands and brands using their star power to associate with their values – across platforms.