What's in a Name?
A bluebird (twitter) told the world that blue-eyed beauty Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is pregnant. Her pregnancy elated not only her family and friends but the general public as well. The moment Amitabh Bachchan tweeted this news; it spread like a wildfire. We are not focusing on her pregnancy as the media is stuffed with every bit of information we can imagine. Our endeavor is to understand why her pregnancy has created such hype that she is even trending on US Yahoo!
Aishwarya Rai won Miss World title in 1994 and till 1999 (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, her first hit movie) she was famous as people thought of her as the first Indian to win Miss World. Though, the first Indian to win the coveted title was Rita Faria in 1966. Aishwarya’s unparalleled popularity is an example that she is a beauty with brains. Unlike everyone, she focused on making her name a brand. Now, her name is unaffected by weight, controversial outfits and even flop movies.
Three important factors that contributed to making her name a brand are nothing but personal choices. First, she chooses to keep quite rather than being politically correct. Ask her anything about Salman Khan, Vivek Oberoi, Cannes outfit disaster, even movies. For her, mum is the word. By keeping quiet she maintains her dignity and leaves everything for speculation, thus building more curiosity.
From 2002 (Devdas) till 2006 (Dhoom) when her Bollywood career was at rock bottom, she made her second personal choice, to marry Abhishek Bachchan. Her marriage in the Bachchan family gave her the most desired surname in Indian entertainment business. Aishwarya’s marriage can easily be termed as the merger of two big brand names thus increasing the market value of her newly acquired name ‘Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’. Capitalising well on the new surname, now, Bachchans as a family unit is one of the highest tax payers in India for the year ending March 2011.
Her third choice in making her a huge brand is the Public Relations Firm. PR has worked and transformed her into such a glorious figure that failure in the primary job (acting) is not affecting her. From a 60 minutes profile on her to wax statue at Tussauds; from ranking in Forbes to Times; from appearing in Oprah Winfrey Show to doing social causes, there is hardly any place where she has not been present. PR makes very sure that she is presented in the right spirit and style. It’s because of PR that a tulip is named after her in the Netherlands and she is endorsing the best products.
Considering today’s world where everything from morning coffee to toys is branded and corporate houses are spending millions to make their name popular, it’s astonishing to see how someone’s personal choices worked so well for her name. Let’s see if her offspring(s) can continue the ‘Brand Building’ legacy.