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Cricketers Out Shah Rukh Khan In….


Using the Men in Blue as brand ambassadors to sell television sets, refrigerators or colas is hardly a good idea right now. Team India has, sadly lost not only the World Cup but also some marketing credibility.

Pepsi has pulled off it’s Ladoge Toh Jeetoge campaign featuring the Indian cricket team. Videocon also has stopped airing its spots, which star Indian wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and Sansui recently announced it would stop all its advertisements with Rahul Dravid.

Incidentally, the only Pepsi and Videocon ad-spots that will continue to air on television now are the ones featuring their Bollywood brand ambassador, Shah Rukh Khan.

“Shah Rukh’s stock is good. But we think in the World Cup, the stock of cricketers is going to go up. So let’s invest in them. And they lost their shirt. Videocon has already withdrawn, who knows who else will withdraw,” says ad guru, Alyque Padamsee.

Ironically, it’s widely believed that the World Cup is a bad time for Bollywood. Big films are seldom released in the cricket season and cricketers almost always replace movie stars in the public consciousness.

But with India’s embarrassing performance this year, the tables clearly seem to have turned. Shah Rukh Khan is all over television, selling colas and FMCGs, while Sachin Tendulkar, Dhoni, Virendra Sehwag and Dravid have taken the kind of beating that they’re not likely to recover from anytime soon.


“There is a chance they will play sometime, till the time they don’t play, we are not making any ads with them, once they start playing, we will start considering Dhoni or Rahul Dravid,” says CMD, Videocon, Venugopal Dhoot.

It’s a rare thing when reel-life heroes replace real-life heroes. In this case, cricketers are getting the cold shoulder, and actors like Shah Rukh are benefiting unexpectedly.

The trend shows that the advertising business also functions like any other sport – one person’s loss is another’s person’s gain.

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