Q. 1 What made you come on board for the ‘Rock The Vote’ campaign?
I think it’s a great campaign, to increase the number of voters, and especially since it targets the youth. They comprise a huge segment of the population, so it’s important to urge them to vote. Moreover, Puma has associated with MTV for this cause, and I’m their brand ambassador.
Q. 2 How much do you think such campaigns help?
I’ve been told that this year, there are 13 crore more voters than last year. So, we do have a huge segment growing each year and it’s important to make them aware of socially-relevant issues. Apart from the corporate or business motive to it, there’s a lot of sincere effort on their part. I know the word ‘change’ sounds so clichéd now, but we need the help of the media, who plays a huge role when it comes to bringing about any kind of change.
Q. 3 Provide us with some details about the campaign shoot.
We have shot the campaign in a very sarcastic manner, for instance, we’re telling people, “Kya zarurat hai uthne ki, aur kuch karne ki, baithe raho, jaisa chal raha hai chalne do.” So, I guess it’s interesting. I also did a photoshoot with the merchandise which was launched as a part of the campaign.
Q. 4 What are the factors that you consider before you associate yourself to any brand or a cause?
The product that a brand is selling is of utmost importance, their credibility in the market, their image etc. It’s a two-way thing. If someone associates themselves with a brand that stands for quality, then it works for both, the brand and the endorser. I remember being a huge fan of Puma even before I became an actress, because it has a particular reputation. So, it’s an honour to associate with brands like that.
Q. 5 Do you think that the qualities of a brand must match with that of the endorser?
I guess so. For instance, I’m crazy about fitness, I love sports and outdoors. So, I would love to associate with a brand which promotes fitness and is equally enthusiastic about sports. More often than not, that’s what works, and makes people believe in the value of the product.
Q. 6 These days most brands have a celebrity face/ambassador. Is this a trend, or more to do with celebrities bringing in more mileage?
It’s because of the kind of attention a celebrity brings to a cause or to a brand that companies want to rope in a celebrity. Besides, it also helps reach out to a wider audience. I think that works!
Q. 7 Apart from the films you do, you also keep associating yourself with some causes.
I do feel very strongly about certain things and I think that translates when it comes to a cause which touches me. I willingly become a part of something that I feel strongly about, like Save The Tiger, or Shiksha. I’m also the face of the Nanhi Kali project, that supports the girl child. They’re really doing good work.
Q. 8 Brand endorsements have now become such a huge phenomenon. What do you have to say about it?
With our teeming population, India is a huge market for any organisation to launch big campaigns. And if they’re spending so much, they want to make sure that they have the right face for their brand. There’s also a lot of money which comes from endorsements for actors (laughs). So, I guess everything connects with the other. That’s why today it has become a big deal.
Q. 9 So, you think companies have also become pretty smart about choosing the right ambassadors?
Absolutely! They do their homework regarding who would best fit in, because eventually, the face of a brand does the talking. It’s also about the image that the person they choose has, which eventually would reflect on the brand and vice-versa.
Q. 10 What are the qualities that a brand ambassador needs to have?
I think, you have to believe in the brand and support it. But then, every brand has a different demand. If you’re selling something macho, then you need a macho guy to endorse it. But, why do you need a bikini clad girl for an inverter ad is beyond my understanding. It’s really weird.