Of Celebrities, Obsessions and We the Paparazzi

ImageIt’s an open secret that the country is obsessed with anything remotely connected to celebrity. Quacks claiming to be Ms. X’s physician and obscure fashion houses scrambling madly for the limelight because Celebrity Y happened to touch their door handle are only common fare in the papers nowadays. But what of quality advertisements and promotion campaigns? We, the honorable citizens might make righteous statements about how celebrities should be granted their privacy by the interfering paparazzi. We, the very same paparazzi, who are waiting to hear the latest tidbit on how so- and- so was spotted with another so- and- so at some cafe, the very same audience who do not hesitate to beg, borrow and steal a copy of the latest tabloid or cine magazine.

Celebrity endorsements have begun morphing into the most outrageous wars of ego. Business publications of yore have taken to writing paeans and editorials on how different brands of mango juice are endorsed by various grades of Bollywood top brass. Does it matter? When one is thirsty and wanders to the nearest refrigerator for a glass of mango juice, does it matter whether it was portrayed most sensually on TV by Mr. Khan or Ms. Kaif? Or would one grab the first cold beverage and gulp it down? Does every “serious and sentimental” ad require a yesteryear veteran actor to endorse it? Sensibilities decide to take a rain check when India’s Celebrity Mania comes into action.

Every corporate might not be able to make do with frugal marketing. Not everyone can stay content with investing more time and less money. One can also not deny that genuinely interesting effective celebrity- endorsed  have been unleashed on potential consumers. But the good is often overshadowed by the tasteless. it would do certain marketers a world of good if they looked before leaping and rethinking the necessity and relevance of their celebrity studded marketing sagas.

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