The very famous ‘masti ki paathshala’ actor and the front face of one of India’s leading eCommerce majors, Snapdeal has yet again managed to make the headlines as the company has now decided not to renew his contract as the brand ambassador. According to sources, the Gurgaon-based online marketplace has decided to end the year-long endorsement contract with Aamir by the end of this month.
The decision comes in the light of Aamir’s remark on “intolerance in India” which prompted Snapdeal into the radar and the firm faced a lot of heat from its consumers on various social media platforms (Indiaretailer reported earlier). Last month government advertising campaign for the tourism ministry to promote Indian tourism globally has also dropped Aamir as its brand ambassador for the same reason. The government kept it low to distance itself from the controversy.
As per source, Snapdeal might not replace Aamir with any other celebrity and rather focus on cutting down on its ad expense and work more on repeat customers. The company has also planned to scale up its categories and lure customers to shop using its FreeCharge wallet.
Many analysts and industry experts are off the opinion that for an Indian celeb like Aamir Khan, who is been considered as an idol by millions, such a statement was an insult to the nation. Though, not judging on what Aamir said, but such a gesture by Snapdeal raises several questions too. Commenting on the same Prathap Sultan, Managing Partner, Bang In The Middle (an adevertising firm) said, “I think the brand is being harsh on its brand ambassador. While it is good to go with the popular, the brand completely ignored the goodness that the actor is known for. It could have shown great character if it had stood by Khan.”
Amid the controversy, Snadeal’s Co-founder Sachin Bansal tweeted, “This is a flawed logic. Brands don’t buy into brand ambassador’s personal opinions. @snapdeal shouldn’t face this.” Going with the tweet, now the decision of dropping the actor looks like a flawed logic too. When Snapdeal said it was not answerable for its ambassador’s personal opinion, then why does it care about the same, now?
Despite the havoc and the wave of uninstallations and downvoting of Snapdel’s app, it benefited in scaling up the app’s ranking. Aamir Khan’s brand value has also helped Snapdeal to put against immediate rivals Flipkart and Amazon. The campaign ‘dil ki deal’ made huge success and gave humongous customer acquisition to the brand. According to app data aggregator AppAnnie.com, on 23 November 2015, Snapdeal was ranked No 25 in India among all applications and No 4 in shopping applications. Over the next three days, despite the furore over the actor's comments, the app moved up to No 20 in India, and No 3 among shopping applications.
Even in the survey conducted by Airloyal’s GetInsights.co with question that “should a brand face the wrath of its brand ambassador’s action?” resulted with 60 percent respondents saying that they would continue shopping on Snapdeal as the brand has no personal association with the actor and 40 percent did not agree to this.
When the entire nation is against the veteran actor, we at Indianretailer feel that it was wrong from a brand’s standpoint to strike him off the contract 3 months later when things were back to normal. If Snapdeal would have stood with Aamir, it would have given a better impression of professionalism and commitment. Questioning the official statement that Aamir’s personal opinion has nothing to do with Snapdeal, why such a step now?