New Delhi: Actor Ranbir Kapoor’s latest film Tamasha, co-starring Deepika Padukone, is slated for release at the end of this month. The Imtiaz Ali-directed romantic drama brings Kapoor back to movie theatres after more than six months. Yet Kapoor wasn’t missing in action. He has been dominating the air waves across television channels with a host of advertisements, including the latest for e-commerce firm Askme.com, consumer electronic brand Philips and automobile maker Renault. Neither his absence from the big screen nor his flops have affected the actor’s brand endorsement charisma.
Kapoor hasn’t exactly had a dream run at the box office lately. His last hit was the Ayan Mukherjee-directed Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani that released in May 2013. The film, a romantic comedy produced by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, earned more than Rs.180 crore at the box office, according to movie website Bollywood Hungama. It was followed by Besharam, a comedy directed by Abhinav Kashyap (of Dabangg fame) that was panned by critics and earned less than Rs.60 crore. Guest appearances in 2014 in films like Bhootnath Returns and PK aside, Kapoor’s next release was Roy (2015), an esoteric romantic drama directed by Vikramjit Singh that made about Rs.44 crore. Kapoor’s last release was Anurag Kashyap’s Rs.120 crore Bombay Velvet in May this year that earned less than Rs.25 crore.
Yet celebrity management experts have not written him off: “Ranbir Kapoor is a star already and has a huge following. The success or failure of his films would’ve affected his endorsement deals before he became one. Brands today are looking for clutter breakers and differentiators and Ranbir makes a wonderful advocate from a consumer standpoint. He comes with great lineage from the Kapoor family, cuts across all sections of the youth and is a star himself. Anyway, not every day at the workplace can be great. Similarly, not every film can work. Only if he delivers another 5-6 flops in a row will his brand position be affected,” said Vinit Karnik, national director (entertainment) at GroupM, a media buying company.
Kapoor endorses over 10 brands, including Japanese consumer durable firm Panasonic, beverage maker Pepsico and luxury watch brand Tag Heuer. The buzz is that Kapoor is inclined to drop a couple of brands from his endorsement kitty. “Ranbir doesn’t want to take on more than 8-10 brands at any given time. He feels that would help build a more impactful relationship with the brands he represents and help in being a differentiator for those,” said Anirban Das Blah, Kapoor’s manager.