Any publicity is good publicity – that seems to be true of Bollywood’s King Shah Rukh Khan, who has suddenly made a major splash in a spree of ad campaigns. Covering the carpet for his son Aryan Khan, who was released on bail on an alleged drug charge, has unexpectedly translated into what appears to be a spike in the volume of ads featuring the Bollywood star.

SRK has recently appeared in advertisements for brands such as Byju’s, Vimal Pan Masala, Mondelez and LG Electronics. Some of them have tactically increased media time in current campaigns featuring SRK or campaigning during this period.

One senior industry executive noted that “since this issue is topical and gets a lot of eyeballs, it seems that some brands have increased the pace of their campaigns especially on news channels.”

wave of sympathy

Experts say that after the negative press and trolling on social media, there has also been a wave of sympathy for SRK as the beleaguered father to his troubled son.

In the early days following Aryan Khan’s arrest, brands seemed reluctant to carry on with their icon, fearing a negative rub. For example, in this period, Byju, for about four days, has paused ads featuring SRK.

direction reversal

However, the trend slowly reversed with SRK getting a lot of sympathetic comments, especially after the Bombay High Court granted bail to his son and an army of fans mustered ‘manats’, setting off the crackers.

Any controversy or issue of this kind sheds light on the star, said Lloyd Mathias, business strategist and angel investor, and in this scenario, handling the crisis with dignified silence has boosted SRK’s appeal somewhat.

It’s also a quiet respite for brands who have spent some days worrying about events revolving around their ambassadors.

Vigian Verma, founder of brand solutions and consultancy firm The Bottom Line, said companies that may have had to reduce the width of their campaigns offering it can now consider tactically increasing the pace of these campaigns.

N Chandramuli, CEO of TRA Research added, “Shah Rukh Khan has been standing as a pillar behind his son with so much restraint, calm, maturity and poise during this crisis. It has earned it a lot of sympathy from consumers and the brands it endorses will see a positive rub. In fact, his behavior in the current crisis has made the star even more relatable.”

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