In Bombay Times September 13th Katrina Kaif the brand ambassador of Nakshatra diamond jewellery says Diamonds are not girl’s best friend anymore.

Way to go lady!!!

Whilst on a personal note her needing friends and not material things make for a good sound byte; the fact of life remains that she is being paid & that too handsomely for endorsing a brand.

Whilst the Ad Gurus would debate and push the need for well known faces as Ambassadors always, the 80:20 principle applies here also. Only 20% of the ambassadors fit the brand they endorse, adding value to the product/commodity/service that eventually grows into a brand.

In India, it is extremely difficult for owners to understand the difference between product endorsement & becoming a brand ambassador for the product, organisation etc. And since 80% of the companies are owner run/managed this becomes even more dicey. The agencies cannot be blamed since irrespective of anything their 15% or negotiated % is safe.

This is extremely rampant in the jewellery industry, where you see some well known face becoming the ambassador of a newly launched Brand. There would be advertisements released, hoardings displayed, some store openings, promotions & then suddenly the ambassador & then the brand disappear. WHY?

Because the personal ego has been satisfied, the dream of becoming a great retailer has ended & the most important the sales does not really reflect the spend.

A couple of good examples, that I had an opportunity to be involved/view closely:

Nakshatra Diamonds required an ethereal beauty to give it an element of exclusivity, yearning. Here Aishwarya Rai was a perfect fit. Expensive Yes, but worth it. The Product, Brand & Ambassador met each other’s requirements completely.

Once the tenure was over, maybe there was a price, personality issue & Ms. Rai Bachchan declined or whatever. At this point practically the product should have been given prominence & pushed instead of trying to hurry & replace the brand ambassador.

This was classically done for the DAMAS solitaire, that had Mr. Amitabh Bachchan as the brand ambassador for years as one in a million, till the contract expired in 2007. At that point it was decided that there was no one equal to replace him & hence we would go ahead without an ambassador. The product would gain prominence with a wide array of designs & styles. This has proved to be extremely successful over the past year.

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Written by AD
ex waiter, angadia, travel agent, dotcomer, dukaandaar, marketeer, people watcher. appreciates single malt, food, friends