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In the recent issue of BUSINESS TODAY (14th April 2013) there was a cover story titled GOD OF BIG DEALS showing M S Dhoni in the form of a multi-armed Hindu deity carrying different products that he endorses. Total endorsement earnings work out to Rs.100 crores !

This is what I had written to BT by way of a Letter to the Editor:


Dear Sir,

This refers to your cover story on MS DHONI under the caption of CELEBRITY MANAGEMENT titled “GOD OF BIG THINGS” (BT April 14th 2013).

The statistics are mind-boggling. The strategies to grab eye-balls and endorsement campaigns of around 17 leading brands are innovative and record-breaking indeed. M S Dhoni indeed deserves the sobriquet “Captain COOL!”

The subject of celebrity endorsement has been debated umpteen times in several Management Institutes and in subjects like Advertising Management and Brand Management.  

Celebrity Endorsement, no doubt, has quite a few advantages such as: enhancement of brand equity, changing consumers’ attitude toward a brand, contributing freshness and adding some new dimensions for a brand, manipulating culture road blocks to improve worldwide reputation, building brand credibility in a short period of time, helping advertisements to stand out from surrounding clutter and improving their communicative ability, underpinning competitive differential advantage among other companies, making advertisements believable, helping in brand name recognition, enhancing message recall, influencing consumer’s purchase intentions, and creating a distinct personality of the endorsed brand.

However, Mahi needs to keep in mind that some disadvantages too can topple his apple-cart! For example: consumers might not believe that the endorser really consumes the product that he endorses, consumers give less credibility to celebrities who endorse many products, while single endorser for one product is often seen as boredom, yet consumers might get confused by multiple celebrity endorsements, often celebrities who are blamed for negative events can have detrimental effects on the products they endorse, if the celebrity loses his fame, his image changes, resulting in contradicting image of endorsed brand, sometimes, ”Vampire Effect” can be perceived, when endorsing celebrity is too attractive, drawing attention away from the product, quite often endorser’s effectiveness is reduced when there is a bad fit between the endorsing person and the product.

So the message to M S DHONI is: Yes, Make Hay While The Sun Shines, but do remember that : When it rains, most birds head for shelter; the Eagle is the only bird that, in order to avoid the rain, starts flying above the cloud.


A highly edited view of my letter has been published in the latest issue of BT dated 28th April 2013 as under:


Your cover story on M S Dhoni (April 14) has thoroughly analysed the celebrity endorsement business. The statistics are mind-boggling. And Dhoni indeed deserves the sobriquet “Captain Cool”. However, he needs to keep in mind that some reverses on the field may upset his apple cart. So the message for Dhoni is : make hay while the sun shines.

J S Broca, New Delhi.


The above short version of my letter did not do justice with my views on the subject matter. In the garb of space constraint, the editorial staff as usual, has chopped off important points and what has been published looks just like a skeleton bereft of meat!  





Indian Version of the story

Original Story:
The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter. The Grasshopper thinks the Ant is a fool and laughs dances plays the summer away. Come winter, the Ant is warm and well fed. The Grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.

Indian Version:
The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter. The Grasshopper thinks the Ant’s a fool and laughs dances plays the summer away.
Come winter, the shivering Grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the Ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.
NDTV, BBC, CNN show up to provide pictures of the shivering Grasshopper next to a video of the Ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.
The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor Grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?
Arundhati Roy stages a demonstration in front of the Ant’s house. Medha Patkar goes on a fast along with other Grasshoppers demanding that Grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter. Mayawati states this as ‘injustice’ done on Minorities. Amnesty International and Koffi Annan criticize the Indian Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the Grasshopper.
The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the Grasshopper (many promising Heaven & Everlasting Peace for prompt support as against the wrath of God for non-compliance).
Opposition MPs stage a walkout. Left parties call for ‘Bengal Bandh’ in West Bengal and Kerala demanding a Judicial Enquiry.
CPM in Kerala immediately passes a law preventing Ants from working hard in the heat so as to bring about equality of poverty among Ants and Grasshoppers. Lalu Prasad allocates one free coach to Grasshoppers on all Indian Railway Trains,aptly named as the ‘Grasshopper Rath’.
Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the ‘Prevention of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act'[POTAGA] , with effect from the beginning of the winter. Arjun Singh makes ‘Special Reservation’ for Grasshoppers in Educational Institutions in Government Services.
The Ant is fined for failing to comply with POTAGA and having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, it’s home is confiscated by the Government and handed over to the Grasshopper in a ceremony covered by NDTV, BBC, CNN.
Arundhati Roy calls it ‘A Triumph of Justice’. Lalu calls it ‘Socialistic Justice’. CPM calls it the ‘Revolutionary Resurgence of the Downtrodden’ Koffi Annan invites the Grasshopper to address the UN General Assembly.
Many years later…
The Ant has since migrated to the US and set up a multi-billion dollar company in Silicon Valley ,100s of Grasshoppers still die of starvation despite reservation somewhere in India, AND…..
As a result of losing lot of hard working Ants and feeding the
grasshoppers, India is still a developing country…!!

N.B: I have no idea from whose creative mind this has come out, but this piece is hilarious !

E N J O Y !!