Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Bollywood star power ‘ads’ up
OK, so this didn’t happen in real life. It’s the storyline of a new television ad starring the trio for mobile operator Airtel.
Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor have appeared together in ads before but this is the first one revolving around their real-life relationship.Bollywood stars have appeared in ads for years, but it’s only recently that they have started referring to their status as boyfriend and girlfriend in ads. Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone did it, so have John Abraham and Bipasha Basu — and now Saif and Kareena.
But not all these ads work. “If you try too hard to leverage a relationship, it falls flat. The Ranbir- Deepika one, or even the John and Bipasha ads have fallen into this trap,” says adman Prahlad Kakkar.
“The latest Airtel ad works because it keeps it light and doesn’t try too hard.”
But these ads are not for everyone. A lot of Bollywood stars shy away from starring in ads with their significant other. We have never seen Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan in the same ad, nor Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan, or even Hema Malini and Dharmendra.
But Saif seems to have no qualms doing it. He has been seen in ads with former girlfriend Rosa Catalano, sister Soha Ali Khan and now Kareena. And pulled off each of them.
Kakkar says the ads work because of their novelty factor and because viewers get a rare glimpse into the life of a celebrity.
“As long as an ad touches a chord, it’s a success, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter how many celebrities you have used,” he says.
I agree. In fact, I can’t wait for the next such ad to come out, and I hope it’s with Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. Anyone listening?