MUMBAI: Akshay Kumar was the undisputed king of the box office in 2008, but 2009 has appeared to be a bit of a waterloo for the actor, while Salman Khan has had mixed fortunes. But now it appears that Salman is vying for one of the top slots in the endorsement world.
According to a trade analyst, â€œAn actorâ€™s trade performance is directly proportionate to the advertisement offers that he gets. Akshay had a really bad year in 2009 starting with Chandni Chowk. His Kambhaqt Ishq, which was a big ticket film also flopped. His De Dhana Dhan also failed to make his producer and his distributors dhana dhan. In Salmanâ€™s case, His Wanted was a hit, while Main Aur Mrs Khanna and Veer were big disappointments. But that one hit has now caught the attention of the advertisers.â€
However, the biggest factor for Salman is that he has stayed clear from all controversies in the last couple of years. A senior vice president of an advertising agency admitted, â€œSalman has a great fan following, but his reputation was a big question mark. But after he has appeared in Farah Khanâ€™s television show, Tere Mere Beach Mein, one saw his true image and the fact that he is a Mamaâ€™s boy, has completely made him a favorite amongst women. And with women being our target audience, Salman is hot property now.â€
In the advertising rung of success, there is little to beat Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan. Following in their path are Hrithik Roshan, Akshay and Salman. With Hrithik having had no releases last year, his appeal has slipped. Today Akshay has brands like mobiles, television sets, underwear, cola and suitings. While Salman has detergents, jewellery, mouth fresheners, underwear and automobiles signing him up.
Salman confessed, â€œI have not been approached by brands before. I have never said no to advertising, it is just that now I am being offered. And I will do modeling, after all thatâ€™s what got me to showbiz.â€
Interestingly, the very cola company that Akshay endorses today, Thums Up had been endorsed by Salman, a few years ago. This is the story of the advertising world, whoever succeeds at the box office gets the biggest pie in the market and currently Salman appears to be a bigger favorite than both Hrithik and Akshay.