The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Telly truths: Sachin stumps Shah Rukh

Calcutta, Sept. 1: Shah Rukh may be the king of hearts, but Sachin Tendulkar wins the closely contested race for dominance on television.

A study conducted by Indica Research Media and Entertainment Practice has rated the ace cricketer as the celebrity that most viewers associate with.

The survey, which was carried out to gauge the relative appeal of celebrities who endorse brands, covered viewers in the age group of 15-45 years in the four metros. Celebrities were judged on the basis of visibility, versatility, appeal and quality.

B. Narayanaswamy, executive director of Indica Research says, “We rated 10 celebrities on the visibility index. Sachin’s dominance does not come as a surprise. The real surprise is Kareena Kapoor, who scores on account of the high impact Pepsi advertisement, also featuring Shah Rukh Khan.”

In comparison, Coke endorser Hrithik Roshan fails to score and falls below both Aamir Khan and Salman Khan who feature in the Coke and Thums Up ads respectively.

Among the various ads featuring celebrities, Pepsi scores the highest with a 70 per cent preference, followed by Coke at 52 per cent. Others ads like Thums Up, Lux, Palio, Santro, ICICI and Hero Honda have a preference range of a mere 5 to 13 per cent.

“The versatility index throws up some interesting finds,” adds Narayanaswamy. “Viewers were asked to choose from a list of 10 celebrities and 10 categories of products and services. Though female stars are preferred for perfumes and watches —where Aishwarya Rai leads—customers do not associate them with credence products like banks or insurance. Amitabh Bachchan is the preferred endorser for these products.”

Bachchan is also associated with youthful ads like cold drinks.

Hrithik leads in only one category — branded clothes. Cars are mainly associated with Shah Rukh and Sachin. This perhaps explains the Fiat and Hyundai strategy.

Among the younger stars, Shah Rukh emerges as the most versatile with cross-category association and the ability to lend himself to different categories. He is strongly associated with products ranging from cold drinks, mobile services, cars, branded clothes, perfumes and watches. This, however, dilutes his identity with any single product or brand.

“Tendulkar and the Big B score highest on quality and appeal,” says Narayanaswamy.

The survey rates Tendulkar as 4.4 on an index of 10, while Shah Rukh scores 4.2. Amitabh has a mere 2.9 to his credit with Hrithik is way behind at 1.9.

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