Even as advertising is considered an extension of movies, in a make-believe way, when using real people (well-known celebrities, for instance), brands and agencies are extra careful given the public’s familiarity with the celebrities.
So, when Dhoni is being called ‘Chachu’ by the girl in the Orient Electric ads, we don’t even bat an eyelid. Could that girl be Dhoni’s niece? Possibly? It doesn’t matter!
But you all know who Dhoni’s wife is, right? Yes, that’s well-known public information – Sakshi Dhoni.
So how would you react when ads show someone else as Dhoni’s wife? Like this Orient Fans ad or the Exide Insurance ad?
Or take the Charmis ad that shows a child to be Kajol’s.
Kajol and Ajay Devgn’s children’s details are a Google away, yet given that they are not public figures yet, you may still buy into the Charmis ad’s relationship mapping. But Sakshi Dhoni is a public figure, and these brands make an explicit mention that the ladies featured in both Orient Fans ad and Exide Insurance ads are Dhoni’s wives!
Another way to consider this issue: Kajol is an actor. She is known to have ‘acted’ in many roles where she is in a relationship… with different people, in different films. Extending that logic, it is only natural to assume she is ‘acting’ in this Charmis ad. Or, take the new Vivo ad featuring Aamir Khan.
The details are Aamir Khan’s children and spouse is public information. But, you do not see Kiran Rao or Azad Rao Khan in this ad. Yet, you assume naturally that Aamir Khan is ‘acting’ in this ad, and hence his ‘wife’ and ‘child’ are make-believe, for the sake of making the point intended by the brand.
MS Dhoni, however, is not an actor. He is famous for being his real self (in sports). This is especially mined to great effect in various brands he endorses that utilize his sportsman persona to persuade people to buy products.
If your advertising’s premise is to persuade people to trust you and buy your product or service, would a make-believe relationship of a well-known person not dent that trust-building exercise?