Be it movies, ad films or public service campaigns, he has always struck a chord with people. Probably that's why Amitabh Bachchan has emerged as India's most trusted and respected brand, according to the Indian Institute of Human Brands or IIHB's new TIARA (Trust, Identify, Attractive, Respect and Appeal) report that works on the idea of 'celebrities as human brands.'
"It's not surprising at all. When it comes to sheer professionalism, integrity, timelessness and the kind of experience Amitabh Bachchan has had, no one else comes close," says film trade expert, Taran Adarsh. For the survey's responses, IIHB had a sample size of 60,000 respondents across 23 Indian cities.
Besides Big B, from Bollywood, Akshay Kumar has been voted the Most Trusted celeb, while actor-comedian Kapil Sharma tops the category on the small screen. Deepika Padukone emerged as the Most Trusted female Bollywood celebrity. Likewise, star India cricketer, Mahendra Singh Dhoni leads the same category in sports world, followed by Indian woman cricketer, Mithali Raj. Dhoni's ex-Indian teammate, Virat Kohli and his wife, Anushka Sharma are the Most Trusted celebrity couple.
"Bollywood was, and will always shine bright. So, regardless of the so-called temporary blip in it's popularity (due to recent controversies) people won't forget and diss the film industry forever. And sports stars, especially cricketers, are never going to lose their charm, and God-like status in India," says ad guru Prahlad Kakkar.
Among other findings, Deepika Padukone has been voted as India's Most Beautiful, and also India's Most Glamorous. Alia Bhatt is India's Most Attractive, while Indian cricket captain, Kohli -- besides being the Most Trendy -- takes the top spot of being the Most Attractive celebrity couple along with his wife. Kumar has also emerged as the winner, in the Most Appealing category.
With most categories being dominated by Bollywood celebs, the big question is: what kind of impact did recent controversies, especially drug-related issues, have on film stars' brand appeal? Ad filmmaker and Bollywood director Vinil Mathew feels vis-a-vis actors' brand value, it "may have an effect on people but only in the short term." "Movie stars will always be huge icons in India. So, any kind of long-term impact (of recent happenings) will depend on how it all eventually turns out," he says.
Interestingly, Ayushmann Khurrana has emerged as the celeb with whom people 'identified' the most. In sports space, Rohit Sharma is the most identified with name, while husband-wife duo, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone have the highest identification score as a couple. Cricketer Hardik Pandya, who hit headlines after his stint on Koffee with Karan, has been voted the most controversial celeb followed by names like Salman Khan and Kangana Ranaut. Also, Alia Bhatt-Ranbir Kapoor emerged as the most controversial couple.
"It doesn't have to be underlined that Bollywood, in itself, is very powerful, and it's stars are extremely popular. So, what the (Hindi film) industry has gone through, of late, should be seen as nothing more than just a hiccup," says Adarsh, adding: "In terms of mass popularity, they'll always remain as strong. But how the audiences react to their work is yet to be seen, when movies start to release."
Other winners of the survey:
India's Most Distinctive, Versatile: Nawazuddin Siddiqui
India's No.1 Heartthrob: Ranbir Kapoor
India's Most Seductive: Radhika Apte
India's Most Sexy: Priyanka Chopra-Jonas
India's Most Innovative, Down-to-Earth: MS Dhoni
Most Good Value: Sachin Tendulkar
India's Most Reliable: Saina Nehwal