3 Idiots isn't the first time Aamir has shown his marketing mettle. To promote another blockbuster, Ghajini, in 2008, he turned barber for a day to give his fans the Ghajinistyle haircut. The film was a hit, collecting Rs 225 crore at the box office (worldwide). Now that record has been broken by 3 Idiots, which garnered Rs 240 crore in just the first 10 days—the highest revenue ever earned by a film made in India.
Clearly, Aamir's hand—onscreen and behind the scenes—in films like Ghajini and 3 Idiots, has a large role to play in their success (he reportedly charges around Rs 20 crore per film and gets a share of profits). But arguably, his bigger success is in running a production company that has a 100 per cent record of superhits—three out of three films so far from his stable have raked it in.
That's a high-margin business if ever there was one. Now for the jam: Aamir- endorsed brands don't come cheap. He is estimated to be the highest paid brand endorser and charges Rs 12 crore per brand (as against SRK and Big B who charge Rs 7 crore and Rs 3 crore, respectively).
In 2009, he endorsed about 15 brands (Samsung and Tata Sky to name a couple) and has earned some Rs 180 crore from endorsements alone. After the runaway success of 3 Idiots, Aamir has recently signed up as the brand ambassador for Etisalat of the UAE, which is set to launch its wireless telecom services in India. The reported price tag: Rs 30-35 crore for three years.