Brands love their story with Imran Khan

MUMBAI: Jaane Tu ya jaane na star may hate Luv Storys, but lady Luck continues to smile on him. Meet the new hunk that has taken the advertisement industry by storm—Imran Khan.

He has featured in just three films since his debut in 2008, but Imran has replaced Bollywood biggies Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan from Levi’s and Coke advertisements, respectively.

“The masses look up to stars like Hrithik and Akshay, but they don’t relate to them. On the other hand, Imran comes across as a reflection of the youth today,” said Prasoon Joshi, executive chairman, McCann Worldgroup India, the agency has worked on the Coke campaign. He added that the campaign is focused on the theme of ‘connections’ and, therefore, the tagline ‘Coke khule toh baat chale’.

Imran made his debut with Bollywood flick Jaane tu ya jaane na, followed by Kidnap, which didn’t perform well at the box-office. His recent film, I hate luv storys, grossed around Rs 27 crore in the first week of release. “I would like to endorse products that I use or believe in,” said Imran Khan.

Industry estimates Imran Khan to be earning Rs 1 crore for a year of endorsement. However, in comparison this is much less than what his competitor, Ranbir Kapoor, charges per brand endorsement. Kapoor, who endorses Panasonic, Nissan Motors and Pepsi, is said to be getting Rs 3 crore per brand.

Anand Singh, Director, Marketing (Colas), Coca-Cola India, explained the reason for roping in the actor as brand ambassador. “We wanted a celebrity who would enhance our message, and not replace it. When we signed on Imran, he hadn’t endorsed any brand. So in that sense he was unexposed and this helped the brand,” he said.