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The Rediff Special/Denis Eduardo Serio
Mixed reaction to Ronaldinho ads
June 09, 2006
Flip television channels in Brazil and Ronaldinho can be seen advertising anything from body spray to a bank.
Drive through city streets and he is beaming down from billboards.
According to the BBDO advertising agency, the long-haired Brazilian has the highest brand value among the world's footballers, with deals worth about 47 million euros ($60.26 million).
As the playmaker and his Brazil team prepare to launch their World Cup defence against Group F opponents Croatia in Berlin on Tuesday, the ubiquitous presence of the Barcelona forward in commercials is provoking a debate among advertising experts about whether this is too much of a good thing.
"I think he is doing too many commercials," creative director with Fallon advertising agency, Eugenio Mohallem, told Reuters.
"I don't know to what extent he is wasting time when he could be training. But this over-exposure in publicity is inefficient.
"His image will be expensive for the advertisers and will deliver every time less and less impact to consumers. The image is losing its efficiency."
Consumers were no longer associating his image with single products, added Mohallem.
The 26-year-old Ronaldinho stars in commercials for Gatorade and Pepsi drinks, Nike sportswear, Oi mobile phone company, Rexona deodorants and Santander bank.
Kibon ice cream producers made a Ronaldinho lollipop with his likeness and Brazil team colours on the wrapping.
Dalton Pastore, head of the Brazilian Publicity Agencies Association, argued that being the world's best player, Ronaldinho's image had a lot of advertising power.
"I don't think there's any (image) loss occurring," he said. "I think the greatest pressure on him is that he is the world's best player and not that companies A or B made an advertising campaign or two with him.
"His commitment is with the world."
Regardless of the commercial results, one thing is certain.
If Brazil win their sixth world title in Germany and the forward shines, his image will be present in the day-to-day life of all Brazilians for a while to come.More Specials