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New Delhi: As e-commerce marketplaces seek brand ambassadors, it is only natural that Bollywood’s Khans enter the picture.

Snapdeal.com has hired movie star Aamir Khan to be its brand ambassador as the online retailer readies an expensive advertising blitz.

Khan, who is known to charge 4-5 crore for endorsements, is expected to help Snapdeal reposition and promote its brand.

The campaign is ready and being internally reviewed, two people aware of the development said on condition of anonymity.

Khan will be seen encouraging entrepreneurship in the country by asking more sellers to list and sell on Snapdeal, said one of the two people. The commercials are expected to be aired in the next 10 days.

From May 2012, Khan has hosted and co-produced the popular television show Satyamev Jayate, which promotes social awareness. Each episode costs some 6 crore, including the actor’s fee.

“During Satyamev Jayate, Aamir exited a lot of brand contracts as he did not want to be seen in a commercial role. He’s always been very selective about the brands that he signs on," a marketing executive who has worked with Khan in the past said, speaking on condition that neither he nor his firm be named. “He has also done a lot of pro bono (for free) work as social brand ambassador for the government on malnutrition and encouraging people to vote."

In September last year, Snapdeal spent an estimated 35 crore to be the presenting sponsor of Bigg Boss, a popular reality show.

As the battle to win market share in the e-commerce sector intensifies, firms funded lavishly by private investors are signing up Bollywood actors to promote themselves. Investors have pumped in more than $4 billion into e-commerce companies last year.

In December, online private label company Yepme got actor Shah Rukh Khan to endorse its autumn-winter fashion collection.

Apparel seller Myntra.com, a unit of Flipkart.com, roped in actor Ranveer Singh to endorse its Roadster brand. Ranbir Kapoor, who charges 3 crore for endorsements, endorses music portal Saavn and search platform Askme.com; Neha Dhupia promotes fashion retailer Limeroad.com; and Purab Kohli campaigns for eyewear company Lenskart.com.

Online retail is expected to be worth $6 billion this year, a 70% increase over 2014 sales of $3.5 billion, according to technology researcher Gartner Inc. E-commerce represents less than 4% of the total retail market, according to a Gartner report published in October.

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