Celebrity Endorsements with Bollywood Influencers


Table Of Contents


The International Appeal Of India's Stars

Global brands seeking to impact an international audience through entertainment and celebrities have a phenomenal platform to leverage - the thriving world of Bollywood. For brands, Bollywood offers big celebrity names, massive fame potential, AND an ability to get into the game of exciting content marketing within one of the biggest blockbuster film industries in the world - which, by the way, releases well over 1,000+ movies every year!  Yep. More than Hollywood.

Numerous brands have figured out how to best incorporate these Indian actors and actresses into their own campaigns, by even helping them grow their stardom through the  brand's own advertising. The fact is, the market audience in India offers phenomenally strong (and prosperous) partnerships through influencer marketing collaborations with high end celebrities. In this blog, Hollywood Branded takes you behind the curtains to share how Bollywood's South Asian cultural identity can provide potential golden opportunities for your brand with Bollywood’s very own celebrity influencers!

Bollywood Celebrity Endorsements (1)

Celebrity Endorsements Are Crucial to Actor’s Stardom

So, what role do celebrity brand partnerships play in their journey of success?

Besides obvious requirements to be multi-talented in terms of acting and being an excellent dancer, these talented stars are extremely language skilled (having to be bilingual or even more so multilingual) to comply in varying character speaking and singing roles - making them build a tremendous audience of varied fans.

As passionate as fans are of their favorite actors, and actresses, they place an immense amount of trust and faithfulness in their favored celebrities’ brand recommendations, especially when making product decisions.

And a brand partnership can actually help make that celebrity become popular, which means that celebrity brand partnership relationship is built into a strong foundation that can last a lifetime. It’s an exciting stepping stone for both the actor’s career, and the brand’s image.

As an example, let's consider actress Sonam Kapoor who represents the true essence of an urban fashionista trend setter, with a flare of high-flying modernization of culture in her attitude and clothing off-screen. While Sonam is only 32, her brand partnerships have sparked her growth into becoming one of the most demanded preferences for not just her fashion style, but her representation of modernization in a tradition-oriented country. Whichever trend she introduces, it immediately grabs the attention of her fans globally!

Following are pictures of her campaign with Cera Tiles, an exclusive provider for designer kitchen and floor/wall tiles. The brand has a 33-billion-dollar market in India, and has climbed to milestones after it labeled the iconic and the very stylish Sonam Kapoor as its brand ambassador. 

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product placement guide

It's A Lot More Beneficial Than A Social Influencer Partnership

The thing is... celebrity partnerships last a lifetime versus the one and done of a social influencer partnerships.  As most cheesy paid partnerships you’ve seen with influencers posting on their Instagram story accounts wearing a cheap but everywhere brand of clothing, or holding a detox formula declaring their love for it, true celebrity endorsements are as authentic as you can get with Bollywood stars.

There’s a reason why most of the true power of brand partnership campaign value rests in the hands of the top 10-15 Bollywood icons.  

Don’t get me wrong, international brands do have success with smaller less well established acting talent, as has the below ongoing successful seven-year Swiss watch partnership with the Greek-God of Bollywood. Always known by his gorgeous locks, dance moves, and yet still ‘charming boy’ attitude, Hrithik Roshan has been named the ‘Most Handsome Actor in the World 2018’ beating Avengers: Infinity War stars Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston, Henry Cavill, Robert Pattinson, and many others.  While his name may not ring a bell with most brands - or consumers - in the United States, he is incredibly known throughout the rest of the world. He is an appealing leading man for the ladies, and he makes the perfect celebrity endorsement partner for Rado, a Swiss Luxury watchmaking company based in Switzerland.

However, as Hrithik states, his own personal relation with that brand makes him willing to endorse the brand in the first place. "It anchored my childhood in a way, because as a boy I wanted to become the man that my father was. Like many of the other brands that I endorse, Rado too has a resonance of values that I stand for” Hrithik said at a press conference. Of course, this was written for him by the brand!  But he was willing to say it...

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Continuing around that statement, he has said "It's not how well dressed you are or your good looks that are your strength. My strength is the character that comes through when I interpret the moment and the experiences that shine through my countenance, which are most important both for the brands that I endorse as well as the roles that I play in films" per an exclusive interview with ET Magazine. 

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Sporting one of the watches from the collection, Hrithik shared, “Being a time keeper and a watch aficionado myself, I feel excited to launch the new HyperChrome collection by Rado at its newly opened boutique at UB City mall, Bangalore. The brand has been an important catalyst in making watch industry smart, relevant and chic. I feel ecstatic to be a part of this new collection and congratulate Rado on setting a new benchmark in the watch industry. This innovative range is my personal favorite because every timepiece reiterates my personal sense of style.

Celebrity invite to brand event ebook

The Everyday Every Brand Celebrity Partnership

Though these two examples may seem to portray premium lifestyle content for only those who can obtain such luxuries, there’s plenty of every day products that even the best of the most popular stars cannot refrain from using because of their superior quality and convenience!

Kareena Kapoor has been an all-time favorite ambassador for Lux soap, a global brand which consists a range of products such as beauty soaps, shower gels, bath additives, hair shampoos and conditioners. Kareena ruled the 2000’s with her incredible dance numbers, dreamy-like hazel-eyes and energetic youthful character -- and debuted in her first film at only 20 years old! She became every teen girl’s idol and the boys’ celebrity queen. She then was hired for the role of brand ambassador for Lux soap, which is extremely affordable, as each soap bar sold individually at about a dollar.

The brand best sums it up for themselves on the front page of their website:

OUR LUX STAR STUDDED LEGACY: LUX® is the celebration of stardom, beauty, glamour and everything that is unapologetically feminine. Over 50 glorious years of operation in Bangladesh, it has redefined the way women perceive themselves by igniting the confidence to look and feel attractive everyday. And in that fabulous journey, the most beautiful and iconic stars of the country have endorsed the brand.

forever 21 the grinch 

Kareena always has kept her product endorsements partnerships to be brands that are within a wide range of consumer's purchasing capability.  And she chooses to work with brands that are popular among the millennial demo, and which she truly does seem to like herself.  She’s previously endorsed Heads and Shoulders shampoo, Vaio laptops, Colgate toothpaste, Lakme makeup, Tetly teabag brand, and has also been a spokesperson for Sony BBC Earth’s new TV channel. Her partnerships have helped these global brands have a remarkable increase in market share in India. The brands continue to maintain being highly popular amid the highly sought women who grew up with Kareena Kapoor in the 2000’s, and who still connect with her spirit. Trusting the actress’s choice, her loyal fans support their love for the actress and show that through the purchase of the brands of which she’s partnered up with.

In the following advertisement, Kareena Kapoor introduced Lux FlowerBomb in 2016. Her youthful approach, and elegance helped expose the brand, and brought her glowing face to the front of every LUX bar soap packaging! 


Lux began their first partnership in 1914-2018. The video collage below, demonstrates 96 years of celebrity brand endorsements among the most glamorous of the actresses who have ruled the Bollywood kingdom. 

 product placement infographic - free download

Incorporating A Brand Into A Lifestyle

With a population of 1.32 billion people reported as of 2016, incorporating a lifestyle product that is relatively cheap and available for everyday use targets everyone - including the lower-class citizens and the non-working population, which is 60% of the total residents in the country. The workforce however consists of 400 million people, an outstanding 40% of the population of the nation.

According to the Economic Times, Asia is estimated to have 60 per cent of the world's population. In 7 years, Indians will cross the 1.44 billion mark and is expected to surpass China by 2025/2030 in population growth. India is about one-third the size of US nation, yet it is the second most populous country in the world. The gap of the population between the two countries is 746 million.  That's A LOT of people in India who are also fans of Bollywood celebrities and content.  And that's just in India - not taking into account the massive global fan base of Bollywood throughout the world.

Why is that important?  Because finding the right celebrity to speak to those audiences is important.  If a fashion clothing brand targets primarily women between the ages of 20-35 years old, you better can understand which percentage of the population to aim towards, and which actor/actress to relate your brand to. Or, you can ensure the values your brand believes in can correlate to the values maintained by Bollywood actors and actresses in the industry. Each actor offers diverse  attributes that link directly to their work, and which can be a benefit for your brand.

Case Studies Of Brands Leveraging Major Talent Of Their Target Demo

As an example of this, the urban-youth representation of fashion and culture mostly would relate to a blockbuster film starring Alia Bhatt, or Shraddha Kapoor. In the advertisement below for makemytrip, the travel appcompany has appointed Alia Bhatt (one of the youngest Bollywood actresses who is a massive success at age 23) as its brand ambassador. She provides a fresh outlook to everyone from teens (you can get their attention young and eager to break free to travel!) to millennials, and she voices her suggestion to her hungry fans and followers to book a trip abroad using the service she endorses. She represents the perfect candidate, as often in films she is portrayed as a young lady who’s adventurous, crazy, and a wanderlust.

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Or the real sense of having grace and timeless beauty may have a brand approach actress Madhuri Dixit, who was highly popular in the 80’s and 90’s, and even after being a full-time mother and wife, she provides more established brands with an older target market an opportunity to stay relevant in today’s age. In the advertisement below, Madhuri is endorsing PN Gadgil Jewelers, which has been around since 1832. The brand values consist of trust, honesty, and purity which makes the reputation of Madhuri Dixit a major fit and highly qualifiable for the brand ambassador position offered by PNG Jewelers.

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The super “King” of Bollywood has maintained his continuous position of high glory in cinema for decades upon decades. Beginning his career within the period of black and white films in Bolywood, his age has positioned to endorse brands of very high caliber, like the superior, and durable quality of ink the Parker Vector pen has to offer.

Amitabh’s image has been formed through respect, intelligence, and honor, and he embraces it in promoting products that he knows have long standing value and respect.

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Research of the RIGHT celebrity partner, my friend, is your secret to incorporating your brand into the celebrity lifestyle your international consumers already are tuned in to and love. By understanding South-Asian demographics and culture, appropriately building a brand partnership becomes easier to incorporate with influencers. As dreamy, and unrealistic it may seem, people of India do try to incorporate the fantasy of Bollywood within real life, and this truth exemplifies how growing your celebrity endorsement campaign exposure will benefit your brand in the long run - either with the celebrity itself, or through product placement in the content the celebrity appears in!

 product placement guide

Want To Learn More About Celebrity Endorsements? 

The out-of-the-box approach comes in handy when you need to hunt down a new niche for your brand’s image. Properly investigating the pros and cons of endorsements between influencers, celebrities, and bloggers helps narrow down successful possibilities of collaboration! Through highly popular celebrity endorsements in Bollywood, your brand can extend its awareness to those fans through co-branded television-screen ads, newspaper advertisements, billboards, posters, social media, on-bus logos, and every other advertising medium you can possibly think of!

Check out our blog 4 Trends for Influencer Marketing in 2018 to get ideas on which various styles to incorporate with your influencer marketing for this year!        

For numerous blogs about celebrity endorsements, influencer marketing, and marketing in Hollywood, check out our links below! 

Celebrity Endorsement Deal Case Studies That Made Sales Happen Video