Mumbai, Dec. 8: After Don 2 and KBC III, Shah Rukh Khan is all set to unseat Amitabh Bachchan as the brand badshah.
In 2005, Bachchan had the most ad millions riding on him — Rs 92.8 million (Rs 9.28 crore) in average monthly spending, which is the money spent on TV time for the ads — among all actors, a study by ADEX, a division of TAM Media Research, has revealed.
Shah Rukh was way behind, at Rs 60.5 million (Rs 6.05 crore).
A year on, the picture looks different. “If one were to compare the total amount of ad monies that Big B and SRK have at their beck and call in the first quarter of 2006, the difference between the two is minimal,” says Siddhartha Mukherji, head of corporate communications at TAM.
While Bachchan’s endorsement figure between January and April 2006 stood at Rs 3.49 crore, Shah Rukh’s was a close Rs 3.15 crore.
With big brands such as Compaq, Tag Heuer, Videocon and Pepsi safely under his belt, the actor who makes a cool Rs 5-7 crore a film against Bachchan’s Rs 2.5 crore and is called King Khan because he rules the box-office, could well overtake Amitabh in the ad sweepstakes.
“But more interesting is the way he has constantly evolved his brand image by changing his brand associations,” says Mukherji.
Shah Rukh’s tryst with endorsements on television began in 1999 with brands like Pepsi and Hyundai Santro. “Brand Shah Rukh has had a steep rise over the years, which hasn’t really been perturbed by his box office success/failure ratio. While in 2003, SRK endorsed eight brands which had average monthly spends of Rs 8.6 million (Rs 0.86 crore); in 2004, spends increased to Rs 41.7 million (Rs 4.17 crore) with a total of 13 brands that the star endorsed. Whereas in 2005, SRK endorsed 21 brands (Rs 60.5 million),” Mukherji quotes from the ADEX study.
In 2005, for the first time brand Shah Rukh Khan became the carrier of social messages — on pulse polio, AIDS and Unicef, for instance. His share of social advertisements vis-à-vis commercials rose to 20 per cent in 2005, compared with 0.3 per cent in 2004.
“It is a very conscious move to cut into the space that Big B has ruled for many years. It is also a clever way of connecting with the masses, which again is one of SRK’s said reasons for doing KBC,” says a top source in celebrity management firm Matrix, which manages many film stars.
The total number of commercials starring Shah Rukh rose by 43 per cent to 53,527 in 2005, compared with 37,436 in 2004. His endorsement portfolio now extends across sectors —from two-wheelers, durables, soaps and biscuits to high-end products like designer watches.
“The first quarter of 2006 has already seen three new categories in his list. Computers and talcum powders are the latest additions to Shah Rukh Khan’s growing list of endorsements,” says Mukherji.
Shah Rukh endorsed a total of 21 brands in 2005, a 62 per cent jump over the 13 brands endorsed in 2004. In the first quarter of 2006, the number of brands endorsed by him stands at 16.
The endgame between SRK and the Big B is drawing up to an exciting finish — with Don 2, and now KBC, where Shah Rukh is rumoured to be getting paid twice as much as Bachchan — and brand endorsements might really be the last frontier.