Bollywood may not be kind to married actresses, but they sure have a special place in the ad world. Their marital status helps these heroines sell a host of goods, especially household products like soaps, biscuits and washing machines.
While Kajol is the brand ambassador of products like Knorr Soups, Olay cream, Alpenliebe candy and Whirlpool appliances, Juhi Chawla has Kurkure snacks, Ashoka pickles and soft drink Rooh Afza in her kitty.
Karisma Kapoor endorses products like Khaitan Fans, Shaktibhog flour and Priyagold biscuits. Then there is Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who boasts of a glitzy lineup of products like Lux soaps, L'Oreal beauty products and Longines watches.
So what makes married actresses a hot favourite in the advertising world?
"Once married, Hindi film actresses stop being alluring and being part of the average Indian male's dreams. People do not expect married actresses to run around trees. But they continue to enjoy a certain nostalgic relationship in the minds of the audience," Sai Nagesh, chief growth officer of Dentsu Media India, told IANS.
"In the hugely cluttered media platforms, a married actress endorsing a brand does get that extra attention from the audience - a curious but extra glance."
Sonali Bendre, 34, who endorses Pril soap, Surya bulbs and tubes and Omega watches among others, was recently taken on board as the brand ambassador of the health brand Dr. Morepen.
"Sonali is a perfect example of an Indian woman handling brilliantly both professional and personal duties with ease, an aspiration for every Indian woman...She has a universal appeal that extends to everyone across age groups," said Sushil Suri, chairman and managing director, Morepen Labs.
"We believe her endorsement of Dr. Morepen will go a long way in reinforcing the attributes of the brand and reiterate the position of 'Dr. Morepen."
The actresses themselves often prefer advertisements to full-fledged films as the former are less time consuming.
"It's just that I like to do things when the time is right according to me. When I was full-fledged into films, I didn't have time to do endorsements. And now I have a little time on my hands and I have realised that ads don't take a lot of time...That's why I am more open to them now," Kajol was once quoted as saying.
In terms of money too, ads are not a bad idea. Industry sources reveal that actresses are being paid anywhere between Rs.8 million and Rs.20 million depending upon their popularity and number of personal appearances to promote it.
According to media estimates, Aishwarya takes home nearly Rs.1 billion from advertising assignments annually.
Indo-Asian News Service