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Do states really get benefited by appointing celebrity brand ambassadors?
India's newest state Telangana roped in Indian tennis star Sania Mirza as its brand ambassador to promote the state. Though it's a different thing that her appointment was gripped into an unnecessary controversy, but her appointment remained intact.

This is not the first time when a state has roped in a celebrity as its brand ambassador. Don't forget the name of Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, who made people aware of 'Khushboo Gujarat Ki'. Don't forget the name of yet another Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan who tried to project the best image of West Bengal. Both of them were doing it in the capacity of brand ambassadors of the respective states

An important question that arises here is, why states need brand ambassadors by spending crores of rupees. In the case of Sania Mirza, Telangana gave her a grant of one crore rupees. And Gujarat, according to media reports, spent around 40 crore rupees for its branding. The government of Gujarat has made claims that due to promotion by Bachachan, the state's tourism grew by 14 per cent per annum, twice that of national growth rate.

I K Jadeja, spokesperson for Gujarat BJP, while supporting the state government's decision to rope in Bachchan said, "Someone's face and fame matters the most, either he is an actor or an sports person. People always prefer to follow whatever their favorite personalities do. Like Amitabh Bachchan or Sania Mirza these are the personalities who attract people more. Secondly, the authenticity their personal and professional life holds makes people to believe whatever they say to their audience. Thirdly, either its a promotion of a particular state or product, one should choose a person who is one among the public is well aware about his background. Namely, this is the only reason for choosing such personalities as a brand ambassador of a particular state.

When we asked him what actually Gujarat got after the promotion by cine star Amitabh Bachchan, he said, "The promotion hadn't been created for a particular sector but for everyone, for society, community, its infrastructural facility, for a region. And after the previous advertisement, the tourist flow from with in the country and from outside the country has increased."

Madan Mitra, Minister of State for Sports in West Bengal while supporting the appointment of Shah Rukh Khan as West Bengal's brand ambassador said, "Personalities who are not politicians, but are known to the public help a state by being brand ambassadors. Their face helps to promote and popularize a state's programs, both urban and rural. When a popular face says something, public listen and try to emulate the advise, which in turn helps the state a lot. SRK is the brand ambassador of Bengal. How he has helped in the progress of the state? SRK's presence has helped a lot. It is because of him that we had a number of cricket series in Bengal. His presence in the film festival has helped too as well as in the felicitation. He is still the brand ambassador and lets wait for the correct time and opportunity, when everything will happen."

But a brand and brand ambassador needs to fit each other. For example Salman Khan won't be doing scooty advertisements as it won't suit him. Similarly if someone chooses a dark complexion girl for a fair and lovely advertisement then it will only ruin the product's image. So how to decide which face is suitable for which brand or product.

According to the ad guru Prahlad Kakkar, there are people who actually spend time in analysis before zero in on any particular name as a brand ambassador for a particular state.

He said, "Of course the time is actually spent on evaluation of a brand ambassador. There are few sports person who hails from Andhra Pradesh like Saina Nehwal, Sania Mirza etc, these are all prominent sports people and govt could have chosen anyone."

He hailed the the appointment of Sania Mirza as Telangana's brand ambassador and termed the controversy related with her appointment as unfortunate.

"They have chosen Sania Mirza because she has more glamorous profile, she owns much greater reach, even she has an international fame, she is very good sports person with good looks and the way she talks and represents herself is all perfect. The controversy on her nationality is very unfortunate, people in elections voted for Narendra Modi rather for BJP. The BJP was unpopular even with the Hindu's just because they misrepresented the Hindus. People chose Modi not the BJP fundamentalists. No one gain anything by creating such controversies. The man (K Laxman) who created the whole controversy is nobody in real life. Its just a limelight gimmick and he earned something for a certain time being. So, for the 5 mins of fame on national television he is tarnishing somebody's character. What a national patriotic Indian? He should be punished. And Mr. Modi should asked him to shut his mouth, though you are representing me but this is not my view. Because all these politicians get into the power because of PM Narendra Modi as they themselves hadn't done anything for the nation. Such acts by them is dissolving the name of PM Modi, said Kakkar. 

How a person who originally hails from a totally different region can be a brand manager of some other state? Are these appointments political and made to gain some political advantages?

Replying to these questions, Kakkar said, "If Gujarat got place in Amitabh Bachchan's heart, then he is free to be its brand ambassador, so is PM Narendra Modi, as he is also a brand ambassador of Gujarat. Actually he is best Gujarat ambassador than Amitabh Bachchan. And same is the case of Shah Rukh Khan. If his cricket team hails from Kolkata and his heart owns respect for the state and he is proud on the same then he is the best person to represent that state."

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