Gen-next Bollywood actors: the hottest new players in ad world

Mumbai, April 6 -- Out with the old and in with the new. The saying could well have been coined keeping modern advertisements in mind, where you need something fresh every two months to get audiences interested. And with commercials ever-so-reliant on Bollywood to sell everything from hair oil to cola to cars and watches, the new crop of actors is also the ad world's most-wanted.

And while the Khans and a veteran Amitabh Bachchan still reign, gen-next actors are in demand because they make for fresh faces and attract the youth.

Shahid Kapur and Priyanka Chopra have now been replaced by Imran Khan and Anushka Sharma in the Bru coffee ad. Sources state the obvious - the brand wanted a younger, hip pair and roped in two actors who had just done a film together (Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola).

Likewise, the three young actors who shot to fame with Student Of The Year (2012) - Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra - are being offered endorsement deals together and individually. Varun, who has just signed three new deals, says, "I've been little choosy about the ads. I want to connect with people of my age, who are also my audience, and these ads are helping me do that."

Ad-film-maker Prahlad Kakkar says, "Imran and Sonakshi Sinha are the young actors in demand, while Parineeti (Chopra), Ayushmann (Khurrana), Varun, Alia and Sidharth are the newbies creating buzz. They are affordable, exciting and have a hit under their belts. Everyone hopes their second films will be bigger; but if that doesn't happen, they will be forgotten." We got Prahlad and trade analyst Komal Nahta to analyse the appeal of the newcomers.

Alia Bhatt

Brands: Idee, Coke

Rate: Rs. 50-65 lakh per ad

USP: "She is a sensation among the youth, especially teenagers, due to her cuteness," says Komal.

Sidharth Malhotra

Brands: Idee, Coke, Kwality Walls

Rate: Rs. 50-65 lakh per ad

USP: "He has the right mix of cuteness and handsomeness, which appeals to the youth," says Komal.

Parineeti Chopra

Brands: Kurkure, Nivea, Maaza, Spinz and a leading two-wheeler brand deal to be announced

Rate: Rs. 70-90 lakh per ad

USP: "She's spunky, young and a lot of teenagers identify with her," says Prahlad. "She's very natural and lively, says Komal.

Varun Dhawan

Brands: Idee eyewear, Coca-Cola, Nestle, an upcoming Japanese hair gel and a mobile application ad with Parineeti Chopra

Rate: Rs. 50-65 lakh per ad

USP: "He's good-looking and that's his biggest asset," says Prahlad. "His good looks, chiselled body and his ability to dance," says Komal.

Ayushmann Khurrana

Brands: Colgate Plax (contract just over; no new ads)

Rate: Rs 50-70 lakh per ad

USP: "He has a quirky image and the look of a common guy. He doesn't have six packs or muscles, so his value is higher for certain products," says Prahlad. "He's a youth icon because of his TV career and acting skills," says Komal.

Sonakshi Sinha

Brands: Dyna, Colgate Active Salt, Red Label, Fem

Rate: Rs. 1-1.5 cr per ad

Deepika Padukone

Brands: Garnier, Fiama Di Willis, Tissot, Yamaha scooters, Orbit chewing gum, Nescafe, Luxor pens, Parachute oil

Rate: Rs. 2.5-3 cr per ad

Anushka Sharma

Brands: Parachute hair oil, Kara skin wipes, Joy face wash, Reliance CommMobile, Nivea body creams/lotions, Nivea deodorants, Geetanjali Jewellery, Canon cameras, TVS scooters, Sofy sanitary napkins, Elle 18 cosmetics, Bru coffee

Rate: Rs. 2-3 cr per ad

Ranbir Kapoor

Brands: Lenovo computers, PepsiCo, John Players, Hero MotoCorp, Nissan Motors, Panasonic India, BlackBerry

Rate: Rs. 4-5 cr per ad

Imran Khan

Brands: Maaza, Bru coffee

Rate: Rs. 2-3 cr per ad

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.