Small screen stars ques­tion why huge pop­u­lar­ity still can’t get them ma­jor brand en­dorse­ments

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Shreya Mukher­jee

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.” ■ shreya.mukher­jee@htlive.com

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

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