At the 12th Indian Public Relations and Corporate Communications Conference and Awards (IPRCCCA) on Friday, panelists Nandita Puri, Author and President, Om Puri Foundation; Paula Mcglynn, CEO, Bhartiya Digital Party; and Dr. Rahul Sethi, Medical Practitioner, Academician, Researcher, and Actor, discussed the topic “How Celebrities Are the Keepers of the Brand”. The session was moderated by Ruhail Amin, Editor, exchange4media.
Being a celebrity has a certain responsibility to the public. Puri believes brand mentions are more than just a model displaying a product. People pay attention to them and they have a certain influence on the public. “One should endorse a brand that one believes in rather than just endorsing anything for a certain amount of money,” Puri explained.
The discussion started with Amin mentioning that when a brand is in crisis, a celebrity who supports the brand rarely talks about it. He asked, “What’s the ideal celebrity endorsement?” How can it evolve into something more than a transaction?
To which Mcglynn said, “It’s something we’re happy to do here at BhaDiPa, a regional language entertainment company. We have a Marathi YouTube channel with over a million subscribers, and one One of the main things we do is what is called Content Marketing, which is when you use your brand value in the market through content. BhaDiPa does not have a single face. We We’ve taken a slightly harder approach, where we’re a business producing content and hoping that’s enough to attract subscribers without needing a personal connection.” She further added that for them, brand mentions are a way to sponsor the content they want to create.
“We endorse products that we believe in, so we have standards. We do not advertise fair cream, tobacco, gambling apps, etc., and the list goes on,” Mcglynn added.
Sharing his thoughts on how this equation can go beyond simple transactions, Sethi said, “Today this branding industry is a multi-million dollar industry. Even the pressure on celebrities is high from the brands they support. The money is so involved that sometimes there are events where the celebrity is just endorsing for the money and not looking at any aspect of the product they are endorsing. With people reviewing products on YouTube or social media, people have become more observant. Now they no longer go through a big star endorsing a brand.
Further speaking about a change in the way brands operate after the emergence of YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms, Puri said, “There is a change in the way people are influenced by the celebrity tag. Now, because of Instagram and YouTube Reviews, people have become aware.
McGlynn said: “I think change is happening. But they can choose to spend the money and going with a big celebrity for an endorsement is something that definitely still has value for brands and for the public.
“With digital growth, consumers will have a lot more power of choice, so it’s up to the public to decide if it’s worth the money spent,” she concluded.
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