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Omega gets its timing right with Abhishek

September 26, 2006 13:23 IST

Omega may look at taking its latest brand ambassador, actor Abhishek Bachchan, international to tap the spending power of the Indian diaspora.

Raynald Aeschlimann, vice-president and international sales director, Omega, told Business Standard that the luxury watch brand would explore the option after taking the star's approval.

He added West Asia would be a potential market where Bachchan could be used to promote the Omega brand. Apart from the Indians settled in the Emirates, even the natives follow Bollywood films.

Incidentally, it is not Bachchan who is the first to go global on this front from the industry. Top ranking actor Aishwarya Rai has been among the first to be the global brand ambassador for a multinational brand – watch brand Longines (also part of the Swatch group that owns Omega).

Two years back Sonali Bendre, then brand ambassador for Omega, had participated in a brand promotion in St Moritz, Switzerland, along with brand ambassadors from other countries such as tennis star Anna Kournikova."Using an Indian brand ambassador can establish a tremendous connect with the Indian diaspora," said Aeschlimann.

In another instance, Shahrukh Khan, brand ambassador for Tag Heuer, another top watch brand, is an important part of the brand's marketing campaign in parts of Europe where Indians have a strong presence. Similarly, Sushmita Sen, the other face of Tag Heuer in India, is equally popular internationally.

Clearly, international marketers are not willing to ignore the spending power of the approximately 20 million Indians settled outside the country. For instance, Aeschlimann refers to his visit to an Omega outlet at Flushing Meadows, New York. "You could have easily mistaken it for an Indian store," he said. The outlet apart from displaying publicity material with Indian stars even had Hindi film music playing on television.

"Most of these luxury brands are doing well in emerging markets where the Indian diaspora also has a strong presence. So even in the Far East, Indian brand ambassadors work well," said Preeta Singh, CEO, PDM, a celebrity management firm.

With an increasing number of global Indians who are doing well, celebrity endorsements would soon look westwards.

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