God's gift to publicity?

Thursday, 13 February 2014 - 6:00am IST Updated: Wednesday, 12 February 2014 - 11:49pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

While we have nothing against corporate branding exercises, we do believe that the sanctum sanctorum of Mumbai's holiest shrine isn't the place to do it. The sight of Ness Wadia chaperoning Salman Khan, the brand ambassador of a biscuit company owned by the Bombay Dyeing group, wouldn't have raised as many eyebrows if Ness and his team had not insisted on wearing t-shirts with the company logo.

Since the Parsi businessman is known to be an atheist, we're assuming the visit had little to do with religious sentiment. In contrast, even though Salman must have been paid a handsome amount for the endorsement, the Bollywood superstar had the sensitivity not to wear the company-provided t-shirt while entering the temple for darshan.

The photo opportunity was authorised by the chairman of Siddhivinayak Temple, Subhash Mayekar, who unfortunately also failed to take a cue from Salman. The visit itself was in connection with a very noble cause — the Wadia hospital plans to offer heavily discounted cardiac care to underprivileged children and Mayekar lent his support for a marathon held to raise funds for this proposed subsidy.

We're not sure about the exact nature of the association between the hospital and the temple trust, but the official brochure does state that among the many 'benefits' of donating to the cause is 'co-branding through event and promotional material'. Can we expect cricketers in their IPL gear next?


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