WHY NO BIG AD DEALS FOR TV ACTORS?
Small screen stars question why huge popularity still can’t get them major brand endorsements
Television in India is now nearly as big as cinema — top TV stars are often paid more and have a bigger social media following than Bollywood actors with middling fame. Major TV stars are also getting substantial roles in films. But lucrative brand deals still elude them. Commenting on this, actor Arjun Bijlani (Left Right Left; Naagin) told us in a recent interview, “As a medium, we [TV actors] cater to a larger audience. So, I really don’t understand why we can’t be the face of a cola brand, like film and sports stars.” Agreeing with this, Divyanka Tripathi Dahiya (Ye Hai Mohabbatein) says, “We’ve become a brand in ourselves, beyond our shows. The number of [social media] followers we have isn’t any less than [that of] film actors. Those who think we can’t promote a popular brand… I’d consider it backward thinking.” Here’s what the numbers say about star status: TV actor Jennifer Winget gets about `1 lakh per episode for her show Beyhadh, whereas Bollywood actor Amyra Dastur earned an estimated `24 lakh for her last film, Kung Fu Yoga. Yet, Amyra endorses a popular cola brand and Jennifer has no big brands in her kitty.
Actor Rashami Desai (Uttaran) says that she gets offers to promote brands, but only via social media. ModelVJ-actor Keith Sequeira, who was part of a menswear brand’s campaign, comments on the demarcation: “Brands prefer a model over a TV actor because they want freshness. TV is a daily affair. So, TV actors are considered only for ads to do with dishwashing powder, hand wash etc, which are daily essentials.”
However, according to ad filmmaker Pinaki Bose, “We’re more concerned about who is apt for the product. Which is why, for a wedding wear brand for men, we chose [TV] actor Satish Sharma. Another thing is recall value — if someone is asked to name top five actors, in all probability she/he will start with Bollywood actors.” ■ firstname.lastname@example.org
Some brands have too much money to spend, and they [seem to] believe only movie and sports stars are worth that amount ARJUN BIJLANI, TV ACTOR
You watch a film of a certain actor after a gap. When you see TV actors every day, what’s the point of seeing them in ads, too? PRAHLAD KAKKAR, AD FILMMAKER
From top: Arjun Bijlani; Keith Sequeira; Rashami Desai; Divyanka Tripathi Dahiya