A couple of months ago, a men's ethnic wear brand brought two of the biggest stars, Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli together for their latest advertisement. In the ad, the two stars who are currently dating are at a wedding and imagining what the bride and groom must be promising each other, except that they are rallying the vows they wish to keep themselves. Serving up what the Indian fans would lap up in an instant, this Manyavar Mohey ad is nothing short of genius.
Now that there are rumours of the couple heading to Italy for their own Tuscan wedding, one can't help but wonder if "super-brand" Virushka would yet again alter the constantly changing landscape of advertising.
The Manyavar Mohey ad, like a lot others, is a reflection of the machinations of the ad world that is mostly driven by consumer behaviour. As of now what the consumer wants is Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma. That the stars' professional trajectories are in tandem can be best described as a great coincidence. That the stars represent a modern, young and feisty India can be best explained by their individual personalities and their professional acumen. Ad-men believe that is exactly what makes the couple a favourite in the ad world.
Vijay Subramaniam of KWAN that specialises in talent management says, "Virat Kohli is a unique case. He has a plethora of attributes. He is young, aggressive, modern, successful and likeable and people love him because of how he conducts himself in general. Young people love him because he represents the younger India - driven, cool and successful. The older generation loves him because of his credibility and his steady performances. He cuts through every generation that way!"
Similarly, Anushka Sharma represents the young and fierce India, says Ashish Patil, Vice President of Talent and Partnerships at Yash Raj Films (YRF), who has been handling the actresses' dealings since her early days in the industry. "She represents the fierce, independent woman who has a smart head on her shoulders. She is one of the youngest producers in the country. She is smart, young, sensible, plugged in, rooted and very desi. Her overall image is uber positive," Patil says.
Together, Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma are a force to reckon with. "They are not only two big brands coming together. Their presence creates a story, something more than just face value. It also has a lot to do with the fact that they are dating, so people naturally don't only see an ad, they see more than that," says Manish Porwal of Alchemist.
Ad-men from across the country try to bag their endorsements to supply the audience what they most love. Keeping up with this cycle, Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma endorse around 28 brands across all genres between them. Kohli endorses 18 high-end brands including Audi, Tissot and MRF. Anushka Sharma endorses 10, including Polaroid, Pepsi and her own apparel brand, Nush.
That is a long way from her first advertisement which was of Parachute that earned her something between Rs 15 -25 lakh. Sharma currently charges Rs 1.5 crore a day for advertisements, Patil mentions. Virat Kohli, on the other hand has reportedly increased his endorsement fee from Rs 2.5 - 4 crore a day to Rs 5 crore a day. According to multiple reports, it is also believed that Kohli charges about Rs 3 crore per Instagram post.
Both the stars have also ventured into different businesses, for instance apart from his outstanding career in cricket and investing in a sports start-up, running a gym chain called Chisel and becoming the co-owner of UAE Royals, a tennis team from Dubai, Virat Kohli has his hands full. Anushka has recently started her own apparel label called Nush and is the founder of the production house, Clean Slate Films that has made remarkable movies like NH10 and Phillauri.
So, amid rumours of their marriage making headlines in most of the leading dailies, ad-men must be envisioning a future in the ad world where the duo's collective power could turn the fortunes of any company overnight.