Virat Kohli vs Pepsi: Another Publicity Stunt?
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has been in news last week.first it was for the supposed brawl with the Indian coach and secondly for his interview with business newspaper Mint, where he raised an interesting debate. Virat Kohli hinted at ending his association with Pepsi because the carbonated soft drink does not align with his fitness and diet mantra. Multiple studies have shown the harmful effects fizzy drinks can have on the body.
Kohli is one of the most talented & fittest cricketers of this generation. He has revealed in various interviews that he gave up gluten, wheat, soft and hard drinks, and desserts in his bid to lose weight and become fit. By dropping Pepsi from endorsement portfolio, Kohli earned further praise, while there has been some eyebrows raised why it took him so much time – till his six-year contract with the company expired – to take such a stand.
His comments also raised an important question: If Virat Kohli, decides to dump a cola company, will other sportspersons follow suit? current India coach & Former badminton player Pullela Gopichand is perhaps the only other sportsperson who has taken a similar public stand against endorsing a product considered unhealthy.
“I did not want to be responsible for even one child drinking these soft drinks,” Gopichand had said. That was nearly two decades ago. Since then, no other prominent Indian athlete has taken such a stand publicly, until now.
So will it force other brand ambassadors to follow suit?
View 1 : Rising awareness and consciousness
While Some experts have praised the bold step taken by Virat, some have been sceptical.“I think it will influence other athletes,” said Harish Bijoor, a brand expert. “Brand ambassadors in today’s age want to be seen as having a wholesome, boy-next-door kind of imagery. This [move] will of course influence others to stay off brand categories that could become controversial in the future.According to Kaizad Pardiwalla, president of communications agency Jack In The Box. “Celebrities are slowly becoming very aware and conscious that they have a public image, which people will have a point of view on,” he said. “And that’s a point of view that will be heard. So that, coupled with the rising consciousness, you will definitely see a lot of celebrities following suit.”
Counter View: Will Virat Do it for every Brand association he does?
Kohli is one of the biggest celebrity brands in India. His brand value of $92 million is second only to Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s $131 million, according to a report published in October last year by Duff & Phelps, an American corporate finance advisory firm. In February this year, Kohli signed a Rs 100-crore endorsement deal with a single brand – German sports apparel maker Puma
Virat is associated with as many as 18 brands at last count, including Puma, MRF Tyres, Gionee, Tissot, Audi, Herbalife, Boost, Colgate, American Tourister, and Punjab National Bank. Also in his portfolio is United Spirits, an alcoholic beverages company which he has been an integral part in last few years
It’s no secret that Royal challengers advertise with Virat Face in it. So does he consider Whisky to be better than pepsi? Does he connect with it personally as his other brands.Alcohol brands are selling mineral water on TV and that should be no excuse for selling Royal challengers.
Virat being one of the biggest personality brands of the country needs to come clean here too.Virat personality brand has been that of candid brand who speaks his mind on issues & needs to come out on this too to show his real intentions.
Whatever happens there is no denying the fact that the move has questioned moral side of athletes in brand endorsements & that also should be seen as a right precedent whatever the intentions may be
What do you feel about this. Do write in with your comments