Expert Opinion: Of Virushkas & #DeepVeers! Are Couple Brand Ambassadors worth investing in?
Having an influential brand endorser can positively impact your audience’s choice, but can two successful & influential brand endorsers double the impact? Social Samosa investigates the impact of couple brand ambassadors in the aftermath of some of the biggest celebrity weddings.
Bollywood & Cricket are two widely followed cultures in India. So, when two of the country’s favorite actors or a cricketer & an actor unite for evermore, it opens up opportunities for brands to tap a wider audience, that united with the man & the wife, by having them endorse their products.
Such instances also provoke conversations as people show these couples much love.
The most recent wedding of Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone had escalated #DeepVeer on social media to 0.56 million mentions.
If the country’s favorite cricketer and an established actress tie the knot, it generates an even greater hype.
#Virushka had 0.72 million mentions in the last year on social media, as per Meltwater.
Do couple brand ambassadors double the charm?
A power couple’s influence and reach can give any brand a face that consumers may get attracted to and recall. Most consumers in India are fans of Bollywood and show interest in staying updated with celebrity relationships. Such attraction proves fruitful for a brand when represented by these couples.
Very recently, Lloyd roped in Ranveer Singh & Deepika Padukone after they got hitched as brand ambassadors with the Khayal Rakhenge Khush Rakhenge campaign.
Shashi Arora, CEO, Lloyd shared the idea behind roping in the real-life couple was that both Ranveer & Deepika are an inspiration to Indian millennials and portray a blend of talent, class and popularity that complements the brand’s legacy and brand ethos. As a cherry on top, Ranveer and Deepika have a following of close to 90 million fans on social media.
Prince Khanna, Founder & CEO, Eleve Media says, “Bollywood and Cricket have always been india’s favourite topics. The internet just made it easier for consumers to know more about their favourite celebrities and couples. It is a smart move, leveraging that interest to draw attention to their brand. Especially celebrities like Saif – Kareena, who people know very little about as a couple.”
He explains how it comes across as a glimpse into the lives of the stars, that audience always wants to know more about. It’s a tease for the audience. Be it Kajol and Ajay, Deepika and Ranveer or Virat and Anushka. It may not be that easy for a pair of non-couple actors to connect with the audience at that level when there is a lack of history.
An individual celebrity is influential and popular in their own right. So, the question that arises is how a celebrity couple better than an individual to promote brands and how did it become an acclaimed trend.
Pranay Swarup, CEO & Co-Founder, Chtrbox thinks it’s because people are more curious to know more about their favourite couples and want to see them together, whether it’s on the big screen or the one you’re probably reading this on. He adds. “Thanks to social media where influencers are able to connect with their fans in their natural ways. Advertisement campaigns whether designed for traditional media (TV, Print, Outdoor), all are extended today on digital. Here the fact that as a couple you endorse a brand matters a lot. There is a higher trust and authenticity in that storytelling.”
While Virat had been representing the apparel brand, Manyavar, as soon as he tied the knot with Anushka Sharma, the brand got the couple on board as ambassadors for Manyavar & Mohey (Manyavar’s arm for female apparels).
Earlier this year, Myntra got Virushka on board as brand ambassadors; according to media reports, the brand is investing around INR 10 crore for the couple as a brand endorsement fee. The report further shares that Virushka’s brand value stands at around $200 million.
Karthi Marshan, Chief Marketing Officer, Kotak Mahindra has a different take. He is a tad unsure about it being an acclaimed trend and is also sceptical about it being better than having an individual celebrity. He adds, “Truth be told, celebrities are both expensive as well as challenging to use due to the manifold demands on their time. To complicate this further by using two celebrities instead of one, is not doubling your challenges, its multiplying them. So frankly, hats off to the brands that do pull it off, and pull it off with flying colours.”
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Over the years, we have seen many real-life couples come together as celebrity endorsers, Akshay Kumar & Twinkle Khanna for PCJeweller, Shahrukh Khan & Gauri Khan for D’Decor, and Ajay Devgn & Kajol for Lifebuoy. However, these were one-off campaign associations and not necessarily long term brand ambassador deals.
We have seen a lot of reel-life couples being featured in campaigns too, like Gully Boy’s Ranveer & Alia in MakemyTrip’s ads, so what is the difference when a real-life couple appears in an advert? Karthi Marshan asserts it must feel believable, “Like athletes endorsing sports gear or chess masters endorsing an educational brand.”
He feels when the couple is a reel-life one, viewers have already suspended belief because they know the actors are playing pretend. So the reel-life couple gets a hall pass compared to a real-life couple. He comprehends, if the real-life couple feels credible, the impact is also multiplied many times.
Pranay Swarup says it all boils down to relevance, “For example, Virat Kholi & Anushka Sharma were paired together as a reel-couple for Manyavar, while also being a real-couple. The ad was widely received and has had a positive impact on the brand.”
The Digital Extension
The trend isn’t restricted to television campaigns. Airbnb brought on board celebrity couple Saif & Kareena for their digital campaign as a part of which Saifeena spent time in A weekend in Windsor, England.
Swarup further shares that the trend is also being widely seen in the world of Influencer Marketing as well, where digital celebs, influencers & creators who are real-life couple have had opportunities to create content together.
For instance, couple influencer, Bruised Passports, by real-life couple, Savi & Vid and Sherry Shroff & her husband were roped in by UAE tourism.
In India, around 80% of the population between the age of 25 and 34 is married, as of 2018. Such numbers suggest that power couples would be an absolute fit for your brand if you are targeting the youth or young couples. Individuals of the pair may represent a different fan base but when they come together, so do their fan bases.
Brands whose products don’t cater to a particular gender can easily make their campaigns relatable with these power couples by adding the ‘couple’ factor, topped with the cozy feelings of connectivity. Brands who would want to be endorsed by power couples but cater to one specific gender, can still do so by infusing their campaign with a story involving both individuals unless the brand connect seems far-fetched.
This, however, also can be a challenge when couple as individuals endorse competitor brands. For example, Deepika endorses Axis Bank, while Ranveer endorses Kotak Mahindra.
Using power couples as brand endorsers may double the challenges to executing the campaign, but will certainly also double your audience and the impact if implemented effectively.