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Newsmaker - Deepika Padukone

March 18, 2008

Deepika Padukone: Now, all the rage
Deepika Padukone
Brand Deepika Padukone is on a roll. If the roaring success of Om Shanti Om opposite Shah Rukh Khan made her the hottest thing in Bollywood, two mega advertising deals in quick succession—one with Pepsi this February and the other with ITC for its Fiama Di Wills range of soaps this month—have catapulted this 22-year-old beauty into the top league of brand ambassadors.

Today, she commands a fee of about Rs 1 crore and a portfolio that boasts of such names as Swiss watchmaker Tissot, Kingfisher Airlines, Levi Strauss, Parachute and Close-up, besides Pepsi and Fiama Di Wills—placing her at par with the top actresses of Bollywood. She owes her recent success to OSO.

Sumantro Chattopadhyay, Group Creative Director of O&M, says: “She was lucky to be launched in an SRK film that was marketed so well. OSO has made Padukone a household name.” However, a senior official at celebrity management company Bling Entertainment adds: “OSO has definitely boosted her image, but she was quite a rage in the ad world even before that. In fact, Kingfisher and Levi’s had signed her on before OSO.” Daughter of former badminton ace Prakash Padukone and a state-level player herself, Deepika chose modelling over badminton and the decision is paying off. Today, every step she takes is followed with interest. A series of link-ups—with cricketers Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni and actor Ranbir Kapoor—have only added to her mystique, and brand value. And she’s making hay while the sun shines.

Anusha Subramanian

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