Tamil Nadu is always a Rajini and Kamal land, used to be 20 years back and may well reign another 20 yrs!
In a state which is culturally so superior and where movies are an integral part of every house hold, you see a whole host of heroes and movie personalities that emerge and time to time you have really strong personalities that affect the scheme of things when associated with them. Which could be the reason that many brands have always been stuck when it comes to choosing a brand ambassador for Tamil Nadu. Because if you choose a Rajini, we will be alienating all the Kamal fans and vice versa. And the trend continues, when you choose a Viijay over Ajit. Which could be a reason why the second line of heroes or parallel stars (stars who are not No 1 but close to being No1) have taken on all the endorsements like a Surya or Simbu or Karthi or Dhanush. And since there are so little of them that they seem to have gotten their choice of endorsements all wrong. Very few of them have chosen Brands that match their image.
Women stars in Tamil Nadu have a slightly different problem, they have not been able to attract leading brands and also are used more of a model in the communication than a brand ambassador. The most prominent fmcg brands stick to yesteryear’s 35yr Mothers to promote anything from a beauty soap to health drinks! Very few brands have used female brand ambassadors powerfully and made their association work hard for them eg Aishwariya Rai for Revlon total effects, or the Lux women.
Coming back to the topic of discussion, After Shah Rukh Khan and Madhavan who have been very successful in being associated with brands one another personality emerging in the South Indian market in a similar fashion seems to be Sivakarthikeyan Doss. A hero with just 3 hits, but seems to be an icon to the budding middle class, cuts across the audience beyond age and affordability parameters, the emerging youth and the interestingly rich and fashionable. The actors humble beginnings and his 4 years of being an anchor in popular Tamil TV channel also seems to have had its share of success for his popularity today.
He comes across to the mass of Tamil Nadu as a self-made hero. Someone who connects with them as an achiever, a person who seems dependable to producers and directors alike.
He seems to elude a sense of belonging to the community. Someone who is like their next door neighbor and at the same time an inspiring hero. Someone who they admire, he seems to come across as the young, sleek, smart and the simply handsome new age hero of Tamil Nadu.
An actor par excellence, whose style, dialogue deliverance, dance skills, talking skills and now lately his music skills also seem likable and acceptable.
– Brand culture fit : soaks in Tamil and Tamil led culture
– Brand Age fit : Young, dynamic, smart and funny!
– Brand image fit: Fit, good looking, Smart and casual, stylish
– Brand messaging fit: Can fit in to any type of messaging, emotional, romance, serious or funny and scope to explore more
– Brand purpose fit : If a brand needs a brand ambassador to re-energize the Tamil Nadu market for some new traction, he could be a kill!
Finally, from a Brands perspective, he is an actor who has the next ten years as his most budding years in front of him. Any brand can bank on a phase like this and make miracles. He will be hard working and his commercial success is important for him and to that extent he will be committed to the cause.
Sivakarthikeyan is a rare find in this industry, it would be nice to see a brand taking advantage of this success! For all you know he could become the next No 1.
Anita Daniel Pradeep
The author is an independent brand professional and all views are her personal views and does not reflect any organization point of view.