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How to use a celebrity in advertising: BeMyGuest ads of Dubai Tourism

April 30, 2018

Be My Guest!

Why am I talking about BeMyGuest#1 when BeMyGuest#2 is already released? Frankly, at this point I would welcome any distractions that take my mind off the horrible ads trying to pull Amitabh Bacchan in selling Lloyd Air Conditioners.

THIS is how you do celebrity adverts! ‘Shah Rukh’s Personal Invitation’ is a good example of how to marry the star value of a celebrity with the usual tourism advert elements!

Shah Rukh Khan’s Dubai advert from late 2016 is easy to relate to. It is well executed, and shows the agency team had a good grasp of Dubai Tourism’s core demand too! It is not usual for the maker of a movie or ad film to not be awed by his personality, and ask him to play ‘Shah Rukh’. Most of the time people write a script where the star is playing a character, like my pet peeve of the moment, Lloyd Air Conditioners. But this is a Catch 22 situation – the tremendous face value because of which the big star is selected, actually works at counter purposes: the viewer relates to the star and not the character! In comparison, I’d any day take straight forward endorsements like Hema Malini’s ‘Buy Kent Water Purifier!’

Very aware of the power of his film star status and persona, however, BeMyGuest ad is smart with Shah Rukh – showing off his popularity and instant recognition by other people’s reactions. A star playing himself AND being just a regular character.

In January 2018, the ‘Making of BeMyGuest’ was released, and was well watched. As expected. Who doesn’t love Shah Rukh? The part about him conquering his fear because ‘It needed to be done’ is highlighted precisely keeping the young travelling audience in mind. And the lady who ends up mouthing ‘Dubai is the most beautiful place’ is the perfect other end of target audience. Well balanced in terms of generating interest…

And then the second part came out; in the comment section of which someone calls SRK her big brother, and some young fellow (or, perhaps a paid watcher) claims this to be the best ad he has ever seen! For me, however, it is disappointing.

I get the logic: International flight from most parts of India to Dubai is easier than Kerala, easier than even Kolkata, and this destination is far better packaged than Singapore. So I can see why the second part tries to project Dubai as the place for family celebrations and a romantic getaway.

But in terms of execution, it lacks crispness and punch. It also relies too much on shots of others, though some of them are familiar faces, and so are not easy to imagine as the characters they are playing. If Shah Rukh is playing Shah Rukh, others should be playing themselves too! Only the Footballer Boy, Indian origin but from London, is a nice touch. The Second Inning unfortunately can’t deal with the problem that every sequel faces – the burden of expectations! It fails to carry on or supersede the surprise that the first one created.

Watch it if you are a big SRK fan (or, like me, are bored out of your wits watching inane ads using other celebrities). At any rate, it demonstrates how a celebrity should be used in making ads.

From → Advertising, Trivia

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