Indian celebrities cash in on 2023’s brand boom: Virat Kohli leads the charge, Ranveer Singh sees consistent growth

Celebrity brand values in India grew 15.5% in 2023, totalling $1.9 billion. Virat Kohli's brand value rebounded to $227.9 million, while Ranveer Singh's steadily increased to $203.1 million. Shah Rukh Khan saw a remarkable 116.6% growth, and Alia Bhatt's value surged by 110.6%.

Varuni Khosla
First Published18 Jun 2024, 01:35 PM IST
Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt in Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani.  Ranveer Singh's consistent growth in brand value over the past four years, and so has Alia Bhatt's.
Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt in Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani. Ranveer Singh’s consistent growth in brand value over the past four years, and so has Alia Bhatt’s.

India's top 25 celebrities, a mix of Bollywood stars and sportspersons, amassed an estimated $1.9 billion in brand value in 2023, marking a 15.5% year-on-year growth, with notable rebounds and consistent increases among key figures like Virat Kohli, Ranveer Singh, and Shah Rukh Khan. 

This growth underscores the strong market demand for celebrity endorsements, driving substantial increases in brand value and endorsement fees, despite some fluctuations and portfolio changes. 

Leading the charge was cricketer Virat Kohli, who rebounded strongly after a dip in previous years. Kohli's brand value soared to $227.9 million from $176.9 million in 2022, a notable 28.9% increase, according to corporate investigation and risk consulting firm Kroll's latest 'Celebrity Brand Valuation' report. However, his current valuation still lags his pre-pandemic high of $237 million. 

Read This: ‘Cost relief, improved consumption to boost ad industry in second half of 2024’

Kohli's diverse portfolio, comprising over 40 brands, spans various industries, including his recent signing as the brand influencer for HSBC India. 

Bollywood's icons

The report, titled 'Brands, Business, Bollywood Celebrity Brand Valuation report 2023', highlighted film actor Ranveer Singh's consistent growth in brand value over the past four years. Singh's valuation nearly doubled, rising from $102.9 million in 2020 to $203.1 million in 2023. Despite slipping one rank this year, Singh's brand value surpassed the $200 million mark for the first time. 

Singh, known for his storytelling prowess, has a robust portfolio of 50 brands, including Tiffany & Co. and Zomato during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. His brand churn rate remained low at 2.9%, with significant shifts like moving from Coca Cola's Thums Up to PepsiCo's Pepsi. Singh also ventured into investments, recently becoming a key stakeholder in boAt.

More Here | Rapid growth in India's ad market, China's slowing: Mindshare Asia Pacific CEO

Veteran actor Shah Rukh Khan experienced the highest growth rate among his peers, with his brand value leaping to $120.7 million in 2023 from $51.1 million in 2020, a staggering 116.6% increase. 

Meanwhile, actor Akshay Kumar saw a decline, with his brand value dropping by over 23% to $111.7 million in 2023. Despite this, 60% of Kumar's endorsement portfolio has remained stable since 2020. Alia Bhatt also saw significant growth, with her brand value increasing by 110.6% over three years, maintaining a similar valuation to the previous year.

Aviral Jain, managing director of valuation advisory services at Kroll, noted a 14% increase in endorsements by the top 20 celebrities, with overall brand value driven primarily by the top 10. "We are seeing a sustained growth trajectory in terms of both overall brand value and endorsement fee, with an average increase of 6-7% in endorsement charges by the top 10 celebrities."

Despite some fluctuations, the market remains robust. Two-thirds of the top 25 in brand valuation revenues are dominated by Bollywood stars, 28-29% are accounted for by sports figures, and the remaining few percentage points are represented by southern Indian celebrities.

"We are not really expecting many non-cricket sports personalities to break into the top 25 either," Jain said, adding that celebrity endorsements help many established players capture customers faster, while newer companies or startups gain quick visibility through these endorsements.

Endorsements driving market reach

The methodology for ranking celebrity-endorsed products considers two main factors: the average fee paid for endorsements and the number of endorsement deals adjusted across brands. This provides a rating reflecting each brand's ability to capitalize on recent popularity and success in their endorsements.

Celebrity endorsements significantly impact long-term sales, as highlighted by Bonn Nutrients Pvt. Ltd's recent signing of Katrina Kaif for their bread and 'Americana' biscuit brands. 

“Roping in a celebrity doesn't necessarily give us an immediate boost in sales but that's the best route to market when a company needs to reach out to masses,” Dawinder Pal, group marketing head, Bonn Nutrients, had noted at the time of signing up the Indian celebrity.

Kaif joined the list of India’s most valued celebrity brands at number 25, valued at $27.1 million.

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The report also examined the television presence of the top 25 celebrity brands, revealing that they were endorsed 311 products across 22 industry segments as of November 2023. Leading brands on television included Harpic toilet cleaner endorsed by Akshay Kumar, Lux soap by Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli, and Veet by Sara Ali Khan.

The year 2023 saw a rise in Indian "celebpreneurs," with Akshay Kumar launching his athleisure brand Force IX, Kareena Kapoor Khan introducing her Korean skincare brand 'Quench Botanics,' and Deepika Padukone unveiling her luxury skincare brand 82°E. 

Additionally, Indian celebrities expanded their international presence, with alliances such as Katrina Kaif with Etihad Airways and Alia Bhatt as Gucci's first Indian global ambassador. On the other hand, global celebrities aligned with Indian brands, marking a significant shift. Infosys, for instance, enlisted tennis champions Rafael Nadal and Iga Świątek, while Zomato partnered with cricket stars Chris Gayle.

"In 2024, we've started to see the beginnings of artificial intelligence being used in mainstream advertisements where AI is being used along with a celebrity to market products. This can help generate better RoIs for advertisers," Jain added.

India's media and entertainment sector saw an 11.4% growth in 2023, reaching $28 billion, driven by digital media, online gaming, and animation. The sector is projected to reach $34 billion by 2025, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5% from 2022 to 2025.

Also Read: Cricket spirits soar, but IPL's ad rates are flat

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First Published:18 Jun 2024, 01:35 PM IST
HomeIndustryAdvertisingIndian celebrities cash in on 2023’s brand boom: Virat Kohli leads the charge, Ranveer Singh sees consistent growth

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