Local stars have better connect in rural India

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    Do brand ambassadors help push the sales of FMCG products in rural India?
    Brand Ambassadors might make the brand more noticeable among its target audience. However, that pushing sales depends on other factors around. Brand endorsements can’t translate into immediate growth in sales though it acts as a goad and draw the attention of customers and make it cynosure of the TG, and take them to a level where they may opt for a trial. In rural India, celebrities are usually treated as demi Gods, and thus they can drive the short term sales offers bundled with a promotion.

    What factors guide a marketer in choosing a particular brand ambassador?
    There are many factors which guide the marketers in choosing a brand ambassador.
    1. Whether his personality resembles the brand personality or not. Example, Amitabh Bachchan for Navratna oil might not relate to the because he is more suitable for Reid & Taylor, rather a Govinda will be more suitable there.

    2. Whether he is somebody to whom the target audience will look up to or not, example: people in Bihar/UP will identify themselves more in a Ravi Kishan/Manoj Tiwary or a Pawan Singh the Bhojpuri star.

    Do you choose different brand ambassadors for rural market?
    Yes, at times you have to choose a local celebrity who will fit better than a foreign celebrity. Sometimes, the regional consumer is not more exposed to Bollywood. Thus the local flavours appeals to them. That is why, a Manapuram gold TVC using a Venkatesh in Andhra Pradesh in its Telegu version and Akshay Kumar in the Hindi version.

    How do film stars and sportspersons differ in brand endorsement for rural markets?
    Film Stars do have a better connect than the sportspersons in rural India mostly. However, we can’t ignore the Dhoni Effect phenomena. The emergence of glamorised sports events like IPL, almost had increased the entertainment quotient of sports events as well. A quick success in sports events like IPL has brought laurels to cricketers and paved their way for brand endorsements as well. Recent success in international sports by Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu in Badminton, Mary Kom, Vijender in boxing, had created stars of who come from noble background of small towns. Such success stories create more options for the marketers, however, usually their shelf life is less.

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