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- Published 2.08.11
AMITABH & JAYA BACHCHAN
They last faced the camera together 10 years ago for Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.In April, Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan added a cute quotient to the IPL action with the campaign for Tanishq Diamonds. With just the right dose of old-world romance andbittersweet nonk jhonk, the playful ad was an instant eyeball-grabber andheartwarmer. It was a refreshing rewind to the magic seen in films like Mili and Abhimaan. We especially liked the bit where she reprimands him with, “Banglesnahin laaye?” as he presents her with a diamond neckpiece, and he looks into the camera in exasperation and mouths: “Women!” Pure class, pure magic.
t2 rating: 9/10
SHAH RUKH & GAURI KHAN
The Badshah and his Begum. Bollywood’s power couple took years to come together on screen — and when they did, it was for an ad. Late last year, Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan signed up for D’Decor Home Fabrics to give us a 30-second commercial that was both cute and classy. Gauri called the shots, with SRK the superstar allowing his wife-of-20-years to shine in the spotlight. The chemistry? Thoda naram, thoda garam.
t2 rating: 8.5/10
SAIF ALI KHAN & KAREENA KAPOOR
The endorsers of Airtel’s direct-to-home (DTH) service, Saifeena have featured in a series of ads together for the brand. If their chemistry on film has been thanda — Tashan to Kurbaan — then Saifu and Bebo in the Airtel ads have been smokin’ hot. Our pick? The saas-bahu inspired 30-seconder featuring a soap-loving Kareena with Saif playing the tormented husband. Wanted: the lovebirds in a condom ad, taking off from the bare-back action in Kurbaan!
t2 rating: 8/10
ABHISHEK & AISHWARYA RAI BACHCHAN
They have acted in half a dozen films together. But most would agree that their
chemistry hasn’t ever been as sizzling as it was in the Lux soap ad. The 30-seconder had the Jalsa couple playing catch-me-if-you-can, with a blindfolded Abhishek reaching out for wife Ash who slips and slides away. If Junior B was dapper, Aishwarya was beeeaaaauuuutiful. Shankar Mahadevan’s Sone se bhi sona lage added to the romantic feel.
t2 rating: 8.5/10
JOHN ABRAHAM & BIPASHA BASU
Yes, we know that they are no longer a couple (and therefore no longer hot
ad property) but John and Bipasha play a pair in love for Wella Kolestint hair colour. Shot before John and Bips — lovers for eight-and-a-half-years — called it quits early this year, the ad hit screens a few weeks ago. And given the backstory, it’s hard not to miss the oh-so-thanda vibes. But if you want to get a feel of the
John-Bipasha sizzle on the small screen, YouTube their Clinic All Clear ad. Or better still, just go in for a TV rerun of Jism.
t2 rating: 6/10
AKSHAY KUMAR & TWINKLE KHANNA
Okay, they don’t come together in the same frame, but you have to agree that Twinkle Khanna’s Micromax Bling ad with a voiceover by hubby Akshay is the best act that the two have come up with together, in a filmography that boasts duds like Zulmi and International Khiladi. In the fun 30 seconds, as Twinkle holds up her crystal-studded phone, Akshay goes:
“It... twinkles (huh, huh, huh)!” Kinda cute.
t2 rating: 7/10
AJAY DEVGN & KAJOL
Before she made her comeback on the big screen with Fanaa in 2006, Kajol paired up with hubby Ajay for a series of ads — first for Whirlpool, then for Tata Indicom and finally for Sangini Jewellery. Playing a young urban couple, the two displayed an easy
chemistry, with Ajay’s laid-back charm the perfect foil for Kajol’s effervescence. The two haven’t featured in an ad for a while now, but a little birdie tells us that our wait is about to end soon — the Devgns have
been approached to endorse a soft drink.
t2 rating: 8/10
MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI &SAKSHI SINGH RAWAT
It was a brand story waiting to happen. A leading motorbike brand has signed on Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and wife Sakshi Singh Rawat for an ad together. Shot in Hyderabad by Shor In The City makers Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K., this marks Calcutta girl Sakshi’s debut in the glam world.
AD GURUS ON WHAT MAKES AND BREAKS AN AD WITH A STAR COUPLE
The kind of brand association depends entirely on the image and personality of the couple in question. When Bipasha and John were together and were doing ads, sexy ads were very appropriate for them. When we talk of Amitabh and Jaya, ads for home furnishings and so on — something with a family and parental connect — will always work. If you talk about Saif and Kareena, an association with young and trendy brands is apt. Today, there are more boyfriend-girlfriend couples doing ads than married couples. I would really like to make an ad with Ajay Devgn and Kajol. Kajol is both sexy as well as a mother figure while Ajay has a very home-loving, family man image. They look very good together, especially in the ads that they have done.
I think the Tanishq ad with the older Bachchans was very well done — very classy and with a hint of humour. But I would really want to see Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu in an ad together. I feel that they are a star couple with tremendous potential, yet underexposed.
The one danger in a star couple-driven ad is that you can select a couple who are together — as John and Bipasha were — and then suddenly, you find that they have split. So your ad just falls flat on its face.
For star couples, the ads always have to be those in the relationship category — like home and family products. But even in a category like that, advertisers should try and project the two as individuals, rather than bind them in a relationship because you never know when they can split!
I have worked with Saif and Kareena in the Airtel DTH ads and it was a wonderful experience because they came in minus any starry tantrums. It was just like a normal shoot with the two never giving the unit any kind of extra pain just because they are a star couple.
In my opinion, ads featuring star couples that have really worked are John and Bipasha for Clinic All Clear and Abhishek and Aishwarya for Lux.
One couple who I feel should really do an ad together are Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao. They are both such unconventional people with strong individual personalities and with so much potential to add value to a brand singly and collectively that it will be a
challenge to work on a script for a commercial with them.
Since Kareena and Saif are not married, advertisers can always approach them for an ad that requires them to be sexy and flirtatious. However, the ads that are most likely to make their way to Shah Rukh-Gauri or Kajol-Ajay is that for home products, something that is for the family and wants to give out a message of stability and security.
I shot the Whirlpool ads with Kajol and Ajay Devgn. It was a nice experience…. Kajol did her thing and went off; Ajay stayed back and finished his portions. They were nice about it.
Sometimes it may happen that the lesser-known person gets more noticed in an ad that features star couples. For instance, in the Shah Rukh-Gauri ad (for D’decor) it is clearly Gauri who hogs the limelight — Shah Rukh seems to have just tagged along as part of the package!