Celebrity ads were always in demand. Admen trust movie stars and cricketers to sell products. Even before ads pervaded India's cultural sphere, legends of Indian cinema and cricket were part and parcel of the ads. A recap of the ads which once had the country glued to them.
Sunil Gavaskar's RX100
Before Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni and even Sachin Tendulkar, there was the Little Master of Indian cricket. The legendary cricketer became the face of many products in the early 1980s. Perhaps no other product was associated with him the way Yamaha RX100 did.
RX100 was not an instant hit. Yamaha's advertisers roped in Gavaskar to make the 100 cc motorbike a familiar name across the country. The strategy paid off. Though the Gavaskar ad did not have a long lifespan, RX100 went on to become one of the most popular motorbikes of all time. RX100 went out of production in 1996 but fans can't have enough of it.
Kapil Dev's Bajaj 4S
Bajaj Champion 4S was the product of the Indian manufacturer's association with Kawasaki. The new product could settle for no one less than Kapil Dev as its brand ambassador. He had just led the Indian team to a World Cup victory.
Champion 4S was a star in itself. The captain's face made it all the more popular. The 100 cc bike was the first in India to boast of the RACE technology.
Sachin Tendulkar's Sunny
Sunny was Bajaj's bait for the country's youngsters. So the young Tendulkar was a natural face to present the peppy two wheeler.
The company's sales target for the 50 cc two-stroke Sunny was comfortably met. Yet Sachin did not enjoy a long innings as its brand ambassador.
Salman Khan's Hero Honda CD100
Salman Khan chose the ad route to the world of movies. One of his first assignments was an ad film on Hero Honda CD100.
While Khan went on to become one of the most bankable stars in Indian cinema, Hero Honda CD100 became one of the most popular motorbikes in the country. It had a 97 cc four-stroke engine.
Amir Khan's Hero Puch
Hero Honda carved out a niche market with Puch, one of the most famous mopeds in India. Hero joined hands with an Austrian company to offer Puch in India. The unique two-wheeler wanted a brand ambassador. Amir Khan was chosen for the role.
The admen thought that the young actor's association with the moped could make the vehicle a favourite among youngsters who traditionally went for more manly two-wheelers. Anyway Puch was second only to TVS Luna in its class in terms of sales.
The 64 cc moped had three avatars in India. It came with automatic gear, two-speed and three-speed variations taking into account the topography of India. Hero also offered a more powerful Puch Turbo.
SRK's LML Freedom
The scooter maker's foray into the motorcycle market in India was amply boosted by the presence of Shah Rukh Khan. The superstar's face launched LML Freedom. The ad became part of a promotional strategy for the actor's new release, 'Main Hoon Na'.
Though LML's association with Khan did not last long, the 110 cc motorcycle remained a favourite. LML followed up the goodwill with a series of motorbikes including Freedom Spirit.
Hrithik Roshan's Karizma
Hero Honda Karizma was one of the first superbikes to become accessible to the common man. Hero Honda's target customers were youngsters on the fast track. And who could be a better choice than Hrithik Roshan to represent the spirit. The actor who became an overnight sensation after the release of 'Kaho Na Pyar Hai' was a safe bet.
Karizma became one of the largest sold motorbikes in India. With a 223 cc engine and 17 Bhp power, Karizma was a celebrity in the streets.
Jackie Chan's Discover
When Bajaj Discover made its debut 14 years ago, it had a formidable ally – Jackie Chan! The motorbike became an instant hit, just like the ad film featuring the Hollywood star.
The 125 cc Discover was presented as a bargain between Bajaj's superhit Pulsar and CT 100. Discover was high on power and fuel efficiency. After the success of Discover, Bajaj introduced a 135 cc model and DTSi.
John Abraham's Yamaha
John Abraham became the face of Indian biking after the release of 'Dhoom'. The movie about the lives of daredevil racers made waves. Abraham was destined to ride a motorbike in an ad for Yamaha. He was the brand ambassador for all Yamaha models between 2005 and 2012, between Fazer and FZ.
Milind Soman's Royal Enfield
Both Royal Enfield and Milind Soman are legends in their fields. Royal Enfields have been ruling the roads ever since they were launched in the market. Soman is one of the hottest male models in the country even after an influx of hunks.
No wonder he was chosen to represent the rebranded Enfield Classic 350 as a single seater. The ad from 2010 is no longer seen but Enfield and Soman are raring to go.