If I were to manufacture, say, biscuits, life wouldn’t have been much different. I’d have someone bake them, someone to deliver them to a shop, and someone, of course, to eat them. Then there would be that unexplainable need to advertise my product, and I’d have gone through an entire brochure of celebrities, frowning.
Unless, of course, if Chitrangada Singh volunteered. Imagine a completely undressed Chitrangada Singh, finishing off with some frantic lovemaking, then reaching out to the bedside table for a pack of biscuits, asking you to buy them at the earliest. Of course you’d buy them. If you didn’t, the product’s sales would drop. If sales drop, advertisement budgets would go down drastically. Inevitably, the clip would be pulled off air. And life would be boring again.
But if the captain of a cricket team suggested a certain brand of biscuits, would you really bother? You’ve hardly aspired to arrange for dinner with him, and neither are you very fond of the craters on his face.
Yet, somehow, MS Dhoni, captain of the Indian cricket team, signed an advertising contract, or something of the sort, worth an unbelievable Rs.210Cr. Why? I have often jumped to conclusions in the past, so this time I’m going to try my hand at deduction.
Men, with their ego shirts and self-esteem trousers, certainly don’t seem to give two hoots about what MSD eats. Score a ton, win matches, and we’re fine thank you. So men, certainly, are not the target audience in mind for MSD’s adverts. Children, perhaps? Well, yes, they are more vulnerable in this case. But I know that children too are not the target audience. You see, children will buy Pepsi regardless of who promotes it. Yes, there maybe some banter about the (stupidly long) advertisement, but that’s small talk. If the ad suggests drinking Pepsi will give you MSD’s batting skills, you would have also, by now, developed Preity Zinta’s breasts, and SRK’s wit.
But, and I’m getting somewhere here, you would then have also acquired the cricketing skills of Sachin Tendulkar (who has endorsed Pepsi for the longest time). So if I have Sachin Tendulkar’s skills, why would I now want the lesser ability to play cover drives, from MSD? To put it to context, if you had a sufficient bowlful of steaming mutton Biryani, you wouldn’t get up and walk away from the table, in search of Marie Gold biscuits, right?
That leaves me with the only remaining category of audiences - women. I do understand that MSD has a large female fan following in India. But, given an options list consisting of Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and SRK, MSD doesn’t stand a chance of getting into bed with another woman.
Which only means one thing. Whoever signs MSD on to promote their product couldn’t afford to sign the above mentioned trio. Which means they have settled for fourth, or maybe fifth best. That, then, automatically becomes a reflection of the product itself. And a brand that makes ‘fifth best’ products should be spending Rs.210 Cr on making themselves better, not signing it off to a cricketer. And that’s common sense.