With the rise in multi-lingual films, regional actors are getting more scope for expanding their fan base and bagging brand endorsements. Earlier, only South India heroines were involved in brand advertisements in other states. But now, regional heroes are also attracting big brands with a pan-India appeal.
The trend started with Tamil actor R Madhavan, who has been doing TV commercials in multiple languages for a long time now. Unlike yesteryear cinema stars, new generation actors are keen to work in multi-lingual films. He was helped by his stint in modelling prior to entering films.
Marketers from North India explored the regional cinema arenas with multi-lingual films like the Baahubali series and KGF: Chapter 1. Prabhas, Rana and Yash have become the new poster boys for leading brands such as Mahindra TUV and Reliance Trends. Telugu actors Mahesh Babu and Allu Arjun are among the top brand ambassadors in South India.
Allu Arjun has a good fan base in other states, particularly Kerala. His latest film Ala Vykuntapuram Lo was released in 175 screens out of an overall 289 theatres in that state. The dubbed Malayalam version is running to full houses, said Malayalam actor Govind Padmasoorya, who played the antagonist in the film.
He feels fortunate to be associated with the successful combination in his debut in Telugu. He is looking for exciting roles and brand associations to connect with a wider audience. Padmasoorya is getting offers for both films and TV commercials. Some dubbed versions of his TV commercials are now seen in Telugu as well. He says, “I need a platform to perform, whether it's a film, TV show or an advertisement. The only criterion is to have scope to showcase my talent.”
In an exclusive interaction with Deccan Chronicle, actress Kajal Agarwal said any actor would give priority to films over brand promotion, but added that “TV commercials will take us closer to the audience. It's good to have a balance between doing films and brand endorsements. As of now, I'm busy with movies. I wish to focus more time on brand endorsements.”
“Brand endorsers typically come from either Bollywood or cricket. Regional cinema was not considered mainstream till recently. However, a bunch of stars from South India are doing multi-lingual films. Their broad-based appeal is attracting brand marketers to look at them as national properties,” independent brand consultant Harish Bijoor said.
“Hither to regional properties are now being looked upon as national properties. Their brand value increases over time. In the long-term, this trend will deepen. More stars from regional cinema will be picked up to play stellar roles in Bollywood and maybe in Hollywood as well”, he concluded....