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Celebrity Endorsment Goof up

24 August 2007 19 Comments

I couldnt convince myself that celebrities(esp those not related to the product) are a value add for an “ad”. Here is one more reason and perhaps one more dimension, y I wouldnt want to endorse a celebrity who is no where related to the product. A nice article to read.

Kent RO has landed its brand ambassador in deep trouble. Today Hema Malini who also is a Rajyasabha MP asked a seemingly innocent question in Parliament. ” Whether government has any plans to reduce the excise duty of RO purifiers ? ” This question has created a controversy which may snow ball into a terrible headache for Hema Malini.

According to the Parliamentary ethics, a member should not raise HemaKENTa debate or an issue which has a conflict of interest ( personal interest). Since Hema Malini is the brand ambassador of Kent which manufactures Reverse Osmosis (RO) based water purifiers, the war cry has already began.

Politics apart, I was aghast when I watched Hema Malini sweating in front of a seemingly soft journalist in Headlines Today. If the interviewer was Karan Thapar, Hema Malini would have got a heart attack. The actress is not a politician for sure and she messed up the entire interview

This brand ambassador was asked the following question.

Journalist : Madam, Can you please explain to us what RO system means ?
Hema Malini : mmmmm…….. Helloo
Journalist : Madam, Can you please explain to us what RO system means ?
Hema Malini : I don’t know the technical details.
Journalist : Madam , You endorse this brand and can you explain..?
Hema Malini : See the advertisement for more details…

( this is not a verbatim transcript)

The scrolling now says : Hema does not know about Reverse Osmosis.


When I write about brands and celebrity endorsements, many readers and students ask for my opinion about the importance of celebrity endorsement in a marketing strategy. This episode highlights one of the pitfalls of celebrity endorsements. These occurrences can be rare. But it can happen.
In this case , Reverse Osmosis is the differentiation that Kent tries to project with the brand ambassador and now in a high profile controversy, the brand ambassador admits that she knows little about what she says ( along with her daughters) in the advertisement .

Embarrassing for the brand and for the brand ambassador.

Will it create any problems for the brand?
Only for the short term . Because customers are wise enough to understand that a brand ambassador does not know any thing about the product which he/she endorses. This episode is just another proof.

Will this create problem for Hema Malini ?
I think so. She may have a lot of explanations to do before the ethics committee.

This celebrity goof up is just a warning signal for all marketers. Make sure that your brand ambassador knows a little bit about your product. Atleast the Meaning and Spelling……

Related Brand
Kent RO

Source : Headlines Today




  • Anonymous said:

    u don’t even have a clue about marketing..

    they can just do anything to get more publicity..

    Remember the golden rule in this field: “Any publicity is good publicity..”

    well, i think the part of raising the question in parliament is planned.. while it is very well possible that she might have goofed up the interview..