South Indian Stars Commanding Endorsement market

The stars are sizzling down south and big brands have taken note. With a southward shift in the marketing budgets of big-spending categories like telecom services, beverages, fast foods and luxury goods among others, the celebrity endorsement market in South India is expected to register five-fold growth in the next one year, with more brands preferring southern film stars as they expand in the South. According to celebrity endorsement agencies, the size of endorse-ment market for celebrities will touch Rs 1,000 crore in one year, out of which southern film stars will command 30-35%.
Popular southern stars hot on the endorsements circuit include Surya, Mahesh Babu, Trisha, Ileana, Genelia, Shriya Saran, Madhavan and Sneha. Surya – who will make his Bollywood debut with Ram Gopal Varma’s next film – commands Rs 4-6 crore per brand endorsement, almost similar to figures for Hrithik Roshan or Ranbir Kapoor, sources said.
Surya is endorsing Himani Navratna Oil, Emami Fair & Handsome, Pepsi, TVS and Sunfeast Biscuits among others. Incidentally, some of these brands are nationally endorsed by Shahrukh Khan. Mahesh Babu endorses Amrutanjan, Univercel, Navratan Oil, Thums Up and Provogue among others.
Sensing a big opportunity down south, KWAN, the sports and celebrity endorsement firm that manages Ranbir Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan and others has opened a dedicated division to manage the endorsements and appearances for South Indian cinema stars. This will include getting endorsements for southern stars, television appearances, and content generation using southern film stars. KWAN has joined hands with Geetha Arts to form Artist Alliance, the country’s first entertainment marketing firm focused on South Indian cinema.
Artist Alliance is managing southern stars including Surya, Ram Charan Teja, Allu Arjun, Simbu, Tamannaah Bhatia, Shruti Haasan and Kajal Aggarwal.
“There is a big demand and opportunity for southern movie stars to endorse national brands in the four southern states primarily because of the huge fan following and brand connect. Stars like Surya, Mahesh Babu, Genelia, Trisha and others probably command a similar endorsement fees as their Bollywood counterparts,” says Anirban Das Blah, managing director, KWAN.
Geetha Arts is a well-known film production house promoted by Allu Aravind. It has experience of producing over 25 films in regional languages including Ghajini, The Gentleman, Pratibandh and others.
Other prominent southern stars currently negotiating with some of the big telecom, beverages, FMCG and financial services brands include Trisha, who has endorsed Fanta, Ileana (Levis, Big C), Shriya Saran (Kalyan Silks), Asin (Sure Deo), Ganesh (Coke) and Sneha (Aashirvad Atta)….
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