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Darling of advertisers

Ranbir Kapoor, salesman of the year

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By constantly reinventing himself in his films, Ranbir has stayed the darling of advertisers. Bollywood's 'Virat Kohli' is now way ahead of his contemporaries, and even his seniors.

At 26, despite the debut flop Saawariya, Ranbir Kapoor was already a darling of the corporate world. PepsiCo was the first to grab him, followed by Japanese major Panasonic. Soon, a battery of global brands queued up to sign him as brand ambassador.
Five years and 10 major roles later, Ranbir continues to charm filmmakers and advertisers alike. Besides a series of films lined up for 2014 with popular banners, his unique youth appeal has also attracted a bunch of corporates, ensuring him an enviable ad space.

As per data collected for TOI-Crest by TAM Media Research, Ranbir's advertisement volumes have shot up by over 64 per cent between January and March this year as compared to the same duration last year. Among the youngest actors around, his endorsements put him at number 2, trailing only Aamir Khan. According to industry experts, Ranbir's annual endorsement fee per brand stands anywhere between Rs 6 crore and Rs 8 crore. With two of his latest films, Barfi! and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani joining the Rs 100-crore club, advertisers call him 'the Virat Kohli of Bollywood'.

Besides endorsements, Ranbir already commands over Rs 15 crore per film with an added percentage share of the profits made, as per industry estimates. Add another approximate Rs 1 crore for making appearances.

Anirban Das Blah, managing partner at entertainment marketing and management company CAA Kwan, says Ranbir ensures a consumer reach as good as that offered by Shah Rukh or Salman Khan. "He is committed to his brands and figures among the top five actors today. He has completed a journey of 15 years in just five years, "adds Blah.

The actor is currently the ambassador for eight leading global companies including Lenovo, Panasonic, Hero Moto Corp, Blackberry, PepsiCo among others. Another major food chain is set to join this league within the next few weeks.

Compared to actors who stepped into the industry around the same time as him, Ranbir's endorsement charges are 50 per cent higher, experts say. "Others in the 29-32 age bracket like Shahid Kapoor or Imran Khan currently endorse only three or four brands," says Neerav Tomar, CEO of IOS Sports and Entertainment. But Ranbir has taken a lead over senior actors in the industry too According to market estimates, Kapoor's endorsement portfolio far exceeds those of experienced actors such as Ajay Devgn and Hrithik Roshan.

With every new film - and Ranbir is constantly reinventing himself in his films - his brand image is growing. This is attracting diversified brands. "Initially, only brands catering to urban consumers or youth were interested in him. Now we notice that brands for all age groups and consumers want him, " Blah adds.

Brand consultant Harish Bijoor agrees. "For an actor, the ultimate accolade comes from endorsements. The purpose is not money, but to remain ubiquitous. Since his first movie till date, Ranbir has been in a constant stage of reinvention, which helps keep brands involved, " he says.

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