Should Brands Sign Up Celebrities Associated With Politics?

Should Brands Sign Up Celebrities Associated With Politics?

There’s a risky business in leveraging a celebrity brand whose political alignment is public knowledge. The author takes a look at brands’ risk-avoidance behaviour and factors that can override it.

Ganapathy ViswanathanUpdated: Monday, June 10, 2024, 07:19 AM IST
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Many celebrity actors and actresses who enter politics also endorse brands. Hema Malani has been closely associated with the brand Kent for many years. Interestingly, Kent, a leading brand in consumer durables and appliances, has stuck to Hema Malini for a very long time. Her brand value has been constant despite being a politician for over two decades.

Brands do take a risk when they sign up a celebrity who is a politician. It demands courage and good judgment when identifying a celebrity who is connected with politics to endorse your brand. But we also don’t see many celebrities winning in politics while simultaneously endorsing brands. 

The recently concluded elections saw the rise and entry of Kangana Ranaut as an MP in the Lok Sabha. Kangana has not been endorsing any brands in the recent past as brands are not confident about signing her on. She gets frequently trolled on social media for her controversial remarks and opinions on various matters. But now that she has entered the political arena after a resounding win as an MP, she will have to be that much more careful with what she says as she is representing India’s largest political brand, which has been elected for the third time to run the country.

Perhaps some brands may consider aligning with her as her credibility as a public figure increases. Maybe local brands in Himachal Pradesh could leverage her. She could be a hidden gem for brands. Not immediately, but in due time, if she can claim a new image with her activities in the political field.

There are actors like Sunny Deol and Shatrughan Sinha who have managed to endorse brands while still in politics, but very few brands and in very few categories. Amitabh Bachchan, who spent some years in politics in the ’80s, was always seen endorsing multiple brands. Sachin Tendulkar, who was a Rajya Sabha member, also endorsed a number of brands during the time. That’s because their brand personality had several good characteristics which resonated well with many brands. 

Politics can be a hindrance for brands to sign celebrities, but if the personality and characteristics of the celebrity match, they will still take a shot at it, as Bollywood and cricket are religions in our country and draw a lot of eyeballs.

(The author is an Independent Communications Consultant)

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