PepsiCo has ended a 10-year relationship with Sachin Tendulkar, reportedly because the beverage giant felt the master batsman, at 35 and in indifferent form, is not as big a youth magnet as he used to be.
Also, at 40-50 million rupees a year (about $1 million), he was a tad pricey.
Pepsi, which recently also parted ways with former captains Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly, has signed on such young cricketers as Ishant Sharma and Rohit Sharma for its “youngistan” campaign, targeted at a younger demographic in a country where half the population is below the age of 25 years.
At least one ad in the new campaign features Shah Rukh Khan, the 42-year old super star, although in the role of an older — the glasses are the giveaway — guardian to the young actor Deepika Padukone and beau Ranbir Kapoor.
So are ageing movie stars surer bets than ageing cricketers? Tough question in a country that’s obsessed equally with both. But there are some telltale signs.
Ever heard of an actor’s house being vandalised after a movie bombed at the box-office? Even Dhoni has had his home attacked after recent defeats.