Sports brand Adidas just did it. The German brand recently roped in Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone as its brand ambassador. Padukone will work closely with the brand on their common commitment towards fitness; both physical and emotional.
Adidas said that the association with Padukone is a result of shared values. The actor has been a national-level badminton player before making her modelling and film debut.
Sunil Gupta, senior director, Adidas India told Storyboard that sport is an integral part of Padukone’s life. “She embodies strength and resilience. She encourages women around the world to be the absolute best version of themselves. Both of us share the same values and we believe that together we can create a powerful synergy towards a collective vision of inclusivity, inspiring women and championing mental well-being,” he said.
After being diagnosed with depression in 2015, Padukone has set up The Live Love Laugh Foundation that creates awareness around mental health issues. She has been an active advocate of mental well-being, an area where Adidas India actively wants to position itself through its communication strategy going forward.
“We genuinely care about mental well-being and that’s why having Deepika on board lends us a credible voice. We will highlight that in our messaging and campaigning as we go forward,” informed Gupta.
In a digital launch video posted on Instagram, Padukone is seen sporting Adidas products. The actor will soon be featured in a full-fledged product campaign that will be promoted across the brand’s stores and digital/social media platforms.
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Adidas competes with sportswear brands such as Reebok India and Puma India which are endorsed by Bollywood actors Katrina Kaif and Kareena Kapoor Khan, respectively.
The company recently unveiled its first flagship store in the heart of the national capital — Connaught Place, New Delhi. It has also unveiled its Original store in Mumbai.
Padukone used to endorse rival brand Nike. In 2016, she featured in a popular music video titled 'Da Da Ding', which was part of Nike's 'Just Do It' campaign.
Padukone appeared in the video with hockey player Rani Rampal, other leading Indian athletes — footballer Jyoti Ann Burrett and cricketers Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandana and Shubhlakshmi Sharma. Together they urged India’s next generation to break conventions and define their own success by bringing the sport into their lives. Now Padukone has also brought another sports brand into her endorsements portfolio.
Manish Porwal, managing director, Alchemist Marketing & Talent Solutions, told Storyboard that it is a common practice for big stars to move to different brands even in the same category. Aamir Khan, for instance, moved from endorsing Pepsi to Coke in a highly competitive cola category. Actor Ranbir Kapoor has also swapped cola brands in the past, moving from Pepsi to Coca-Cola. Beauty is another category where celebrities switch brand endorsement deals often.
"As long as there's enough 'cooling period' between the two endorsement associations then there is no issue with the same celebrity appearing for two different brands in the same category,” said Porwal, adding that brands are willing to take that risk. Or, perhaps, marketers just bank on the public's short memory.
(Edited by : Ajay Vaishnav)
First Published: IST