NEW DELHI: A sportsman’s life on the pitch is relatively short so it’s understandable that Virat Kohli would accept any number of lucrative advertising contracts, but brands might wonder if their interests are best served by being linked to his ubiquitous presence.

“Seeing your favourite celebrity (multi-branding) can be a little disconcerting for the consumer at times because perhaps the consumer does not expect all of these things from Virat,” observed Dip Sengupta, general manager of McCann Erickson.

“A proliferation of imagery and stories across all kinds of brands takes away from the seriousness of the endorsement in the long run,” he told Afaqs!.

Ashok Lalla, an independent digital business advisor, agreed that the longer term future was not uppermost in the minds of advertisers.

“I do not think brands think about the dilution of their celebrity endorser’s brand value, but focus on how they can get the maximum bang-for-buck from them,” he said.

“Lazy brands may sign him up blindly without first determining whether the brand’s values and positioning are aligned with Virat's personality and his expressed and perceived values.”

With Kohli now associated with a range of products – including beard trimmers, children’s breakfast drinks, luggage, OTC medicines, motor oil, luxury watches, ride-hailing apps – brands may need to examine more closely whether they are really cutting through by using his name.

They may get a little more awareness, conceded Prabhakar Mundkur, a brand strategy advisor, but, he argued, social media means that consumers now know a great deal more about celebrities than in the past.

“A key question that consumers are likely to ask themselves is ‘Would Virat really use this brand?’” he said. “Celebrities and their relationships with brands need to feel real.”

Authenticity is essential, Sengupta concurred. “The line between a variety of endorsements and being seen as frivolous is a thin one and neither the brand nor the celebrity should be burdened with that.”

Sourced from Afaqs!; additional content by WARC staff