When Huma Qureshi was in Baroda recently for a store launch, she could not even get out of her car for the opening ceremony. The crowds that had gathered around the shop to get a glimpse of her encircled her vehicle. The shop’s security personnel could do little and the local cops had to spring into action. Only then there was some sanity among the unruly mob. Huma could then step out, do her ribbon cutting bit and pose for snapshots under the watchful eye of the law enforcers.
The A list stars may be having their share of fans and endorsements in their kitty, but even the rest of B-Town is raking in big moolah by making appearances. Several stars may not have many films on hand, but they make equally good money and even more perhaps by making celebrity appearances for product launches, store openings and ribbon cuttings. The big brands may have equally big stars for their brand endorsements, but the rest too have their fair share of celebrities who come at equally hefty prices.
Neha Dhupia apparently tops the list of actresses who are super busy criss-crossing the country for appearances. From opening of car showrooms to jewellery stores and malls, the star has a busy diary. She may have only one project (Rensil D’Silva’s upcoming film) on the anvil but her event appearances far outnumber it at an equally lucrative price. Even a newcomer like Vidyut Jammwal packs a punch ever since his actioneer Commando released.
As he had done the action sequences himself in the film, he has been approached for macho and lifestyle brands not only in cities like Mumbai and New Delhi but also in places like Bangalore and Hyderabad. Apparently, Vidyut has been travelling a lot and shuttling between his film shoot (Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Bullett Raja). He apparently makes over 10 appearances in just one month, raking in some big moolah.
Says a source from the brand market, “Due to Vidyut’s action impact in the film, brands and agencies look at him as the go-to option for macho brands appearances across categories like men’s grooming to phones to cars to even toys based on action series and figures.”
It is said that Vidyut has been forced to turn down quite a few other appearances because of the clash of dates with the Bullett Raja shoot schedule. Salman Khan’s discovery Zareen Khan is also one of the leading names on the appearance market all over the country. When she was invited to Bhopal for a store launch, after the ribbon cutting, the crowd that had gathered refused to move. They kept chanting her Character Dheela item number from Ready.
Adds the brand market source, “In relatively smaller places, any Bollywood actor and actress gets mobbed. As soon as word spreads that a star will be opening a store, a crowd starts developing. For the store keeper the word of mouth publicity that follows after seeing the star is enough. They are happy with anyone who is a part of Bollywood.”
Model-turned actress Diana Penty may be just one-film-old, but that does not deter the Cocktail actress from being wooed by the appearances market. So is the case with Vicky Donor actress Yaami Gautam. At the most, they have to take time out to make such appearances. Even starlets like Sayali Bhagat receive invitations to smaller towns for appearances, even though she may be missing from the big screen. With an all expense paid trip to the city along with a fat fee for gracing the occasion, smiling for the cameras could not be easier for any star.