Bollywood influences what you wear

Tags: News
Despite the vernacular differences in India, Bollywood films continue to influence customer choices, as is evident in the apparel segment. In countries such as India and China, celebrity culture is a huge driver of lifestyle, according to a research firm.

In India, where Bollywood produces nearly double the number of films than Hollywood, 42 per cent of affluent customers are influenced by the styles and brands of celebrity cultures, says a study Pricewaterhouse Coopers. They are willing to pay up to a 47 per cent premium to access platforms that provide peer or celebrity opinions about apparel compared with 17 per cent premium paid by shoppers in developed countries.

“There could be some regional languages that produce good films. But as far as reach is concerned, that too pan-India, there is nothing like Bollywood films. Bollywood films have a certain appeal as they sell fantasies and these movies invest heavily on apparels and lifestyle products than any other vernacular movie,” said Parag Shahane, vice-president at advertising firm Pinstorm.

A particular T-shirt or a cap worn by their favourite Bollywood star becomes instantly popular,” Shahane added.

Bollywood is a big influencer. It has been one, and will remain one into the well nigh future. This could be a garment (Sadhana Blouse), a sound (a yodel of Shammi Kapoor), an accessory (the ILU balloon) or more.

Hindi is today the well-understood and well-watched language all across India, except in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Even here, expect change. “Bollywood breaks every barrier today, economic, language, region, ethnic and all,” said Harish Bijoor, brand expert and chief executive officer at Harish Bijoor Consults.

According to Shahane, a Bollywood star endorsement could cost double the amount charged by a regional filmstar, but it ensures a wider reach and this reflects in the sales as well. Market studies in 2010 had estimated celebrity endorsement as a Rs 1,000 crore business in India.

Brand endorsements by Bollywood stars have been happening for decades now. Some companies want to take this association a little ahead, as in the case of Van Heusen. Further, marketers feel that branding of films will have a deeper impression on the customer than a run-of-the-mill endorsement. Sharing celebrity opinion through social media too has caught up in a big way.

Madura Garments’ premium lifestyle brand Van Heusen, in the past, had associated itself with Bollywood stars like John Abraham and Nargis Fakhri to endorse some of their collections. Recently it tied up with Deepika Padukone to co-create Van Heusen Woman’s “Limited Edition” collection.

“It was an instant hit. When we opened sales for a limited edition collection designed by Deepika, there were huge footfalls across our stores. Many of the pieces went out of stock. We have already crossed out internal target for sales on this collection,” said Vinay Bhopatkar, brand head at Van Heusen.

According to him, getting right celebrity to promote the right product at the right time is crucial.

In case of Indus League Clothing, branding helped take away the embarrassment in wearing Jealous 21. “After we did the branding of Jealous 21 with the film Heroine and Kareena Kapoor was seen wearing them in the film, the embarrassment associated with the name ‘jealous’ has gone. Branding with a celebrity gives visibility, increases brand recall and makes it part of the ‘consideration set’ of brands,” said Rachna Aggarwal, chief executive officer, Indus League Clothing.

Indus League also did branding of Indigo Nation with Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Besharam. Van Heusen too had done branding in the film Race 2.

Aggarwal has not seen any regional variations in the way a Bollywood endorsement is being received across different regions. “The influence is not just in a particular segment. Across customer segments, Bollywood celebrities influence the masses depending on the product,” she said.

However, Shahane has a word of caution. “Using too many brands in a film and that too straight on the face can make a film look like an ad film. In case of BMW-branding Dhoom 3, it should be well integrated with and made a character in the film,” he said.

“Companies must not milk the cow too much. Don’t kill the Bollywood goose that is still laying its golden eggs on this count. Therefore, my advice is to use this ability of Bollywood with caution, and with sublimity as an approach than overt in-the-face brand-shove,” said Bijoor.

According to Shahane, celebrities voicing their opinion on different brands on social media too are catching up big way.

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