Crunch-hit realtors bank on celebs to push sales

Bindu D Menon New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on December 31, 2012


NH 24, one of the busiest roads in India, is lined with hoardings, particularly of celebrities wooing home buyers. From Mary Kom to Michael Schumacher and Sushmita Sen to Shah Rukh Khan, these stars are constantly egging you to buy your dream home.

Just like their FMCG counterparts, real estate players seem to be racing to get celebrity endorsements not just to create brand connect but to break the clutter.

However, fence-sitting consumers are still unconvinced even as property prices move up.

“It gives us the much-needed visibility and there is an instant brand-connect. Also it helps the news about a project travel much faster with celebrity endorsements,” Ajay Aggarwal, Director, Avalon Group, said. The company has Bollywood actor Karisma Kapoor as it brand ambassador.

Another realty player Supertech has boxer MC Mary Kom as its ambassador for its boxing academy. R K Arora, CMD, Supertech, said lifestyle and aspirational customers will have another reason to invest in its projects.

Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan was roped as the brand ambassador of Mahagun. “We realised that marketing of new ideas has to be supplemented with an impactful personality to bring home the point in the minds of the people. However, all these efforts fail if you do not have sound history,” Dhiraj Jain, Director, Mahagun India, said.

Industry players also echo the sentiment. They say that most consumers still look at parameters such as value for money, quality and timely delivery before investing their life’s earnings into budding projects. Also they say, unlike FMCG products, the consumer conversion is rather slow in real estate.

Arvind Nandan, Executive Director, Consulting, Cushman and Wakefield, notes, “The celebrity and brand-fit has to match. Promotions as such may not bring sales but will definitely attract eyeballs. Also the demand supply gap in residential project is huge. Developers are not slashing prices despite sitting inventory in the hope of a rebound.”

However, celebrity endorsements don’t come cheap as a celebrity costs anywhere between Rs 40 lakh and Rs 1 crore a year. Most companies did not specify the amount that it paid to celebrities but said it is to the tune of 1-2 per cent of its total marketing budget.

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Published on December 31, 2012
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