- After a three-year break, Bollywood star Salman Khan returns to the cola room, this time endorsing Pepsi drink, a step that shocked some experts.
- Two external industry officials said that the two-year deal is estimated at Rs 15 crore. A spokesman for PepsiCo confirmed Khan’s signing up as Pepsi’s new brand ambassador but refused to confirm the deal’s financials.
After a three-year break, Bollywood star Salman Khan returns to the cola room, this time endorsing Pepsi drink, a step that shocked some experts.
Two external industry officials said that the two-year deal is estimated at Rs 15 crore. A spokesman for PepsiCo confirmed Khan’s signing up as Pepsi’s new brand ambassador but refused to confirm the deal’s financials.
“The year 2020 will see brand Pepsi build a 360-degree scale campaign that represents today’s youth’s self-confidence as effortlessly as Salman,” said the source.
Brand Pepsi’s summer 2020 campaign will be based on Khan’s upcoming action comedy film Dabangg 3, the spokesman said. Some marketing experts expressed surprise at the move of PepsiCo, considering Khan’s macho image vis-à-vis Pepsi’s more romantic, playful image, plus the age of the actor and some of the controversies with which he was associated.
“This is a surprising move on the part of Pepsi,” said Rohit Ohri, chairman of FCB India ad agency, who in the past had a long and close association with Pepsi’s ads. “How this (association) will work out depends on how Salman and Pepsi irreverence is used by the advertisement.”
Khan, 54, is one of the most expensive celebrity brand endorsers, charging as much as Virat Kohli, according to an industry official. But he is not much visible on the endorsement circuit with big brands due to various controversies including some run-ins with the law.
Some of the brands Khan endorses include Somany Ceramics and Emami edible oils. He was an ambassador for leading cola brand rival Thumbs Up till three years back.
The brand will join Khan’s next big-ticket release, Dabangg 3, which is scheduled to hit theaters later this month. “By tying up with Dabangg 3, Pepsi will start its association with Salman. This campaign will give consumers a sneak peek into what the Pepsi 2020 campaign will look like, “added the company statement. Beverage endorsements have seen some churn over the past few years, as popular Bollywood actors have signed up to new endorsement deals. Indeed, last year, Khan, popular for recent Bollywood hits like Bharat, and Tiger Zinda Hai was roped in as Parle Agro backed Appy Fizz. The actor no longer promotes the brand. Khan was also the face of rival Coca-Cola’s popular Thums-Up brand for over four years before being dropped in 2016.