Interview: Malaika Arora on her recent brand associations and the thought process behind brand collaborations



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  • While many actors and models have entered the world of advertising and have disappeared over time, Malaika Arora never left showbiz, setting an example for other female actresses in the industry.
  • She has had her share of ups and downs, but has reinvented herself in different avatars to stay relevant.
  • In an exclusive conversation with Advertising and Media Insider, Malaika Arora talks about her recent association with Kapiva, the brand selection process and the changing marketing landscape.
  • She also takes us back to the beginning of her journey in the advertising industry, tells how her mother remembers every commercial she worked on.

Malaika Arora, the 48-year-old actor, entrepreneur and Bollywood model, recently bagged another brand in her chat. She is now the face of the Ayurvedic brand Kapiva and continues to represent a diverse set of brands in categories such as Food & Beverages, Ayurveda, Skincare, Fitness, FMCG, and more. By following her passion and staying one step ahead, Malaika has also become an example of breaking age disparities in the industry. With the changing times, she has reinvented herself in many new avatars and has built a strong social media presence.

She has more than 14 million followers on Instagram. She posts fashion tips, her fitness regimen, offers healthy food tips and also jumps on the trending reels. According to media reports, she has a net worth of $ 10 million.

Malaika was last seen on the big screen in the 2010 film Dabbang, but she never really left the limelight. She continued to judge various reality TV shows, recently became an entrepreneur creating her own wellness brand Sarva, and invested an undisclosed amount in Kapiva.

In an exclusive conversation with Advertising and Media Insider, Malaika Arora tells us about her recent association, the modus operandi behind brand selection, and how the advertising and marketing industry has evolved over the years.

Extracts:

Q. You recently invested in the Ayurvedic brand Kapiva. Can you tell us what prompted you to associate yourself with this brand and to be its ambassador? What are you trying to promote and achieve with your association?

Yes, recently I was associated with Kapiva as a strategic investor and brand ambassador. I think when it comes to Kapiva, first of all, I just like to say that I have been a consumer and user of the brand for a very long time. So when they approached me with this association, it was very obvious, it was a very easy transition. It’s not just about Kapiva, it’s the Ayurveda I believe in and the science of Ayurveda. I’m the type of person – if I have a voice I need to let people know and I need that voice to be conveyed. It’s not just about being a pretty face, I think I’ve been doing it long enough. Now, I want to be that voice that people can associate with, can hear. It’s amazing how many people turn around and tell me that you are consuming something – that you approve of Kapiva, they feel a sense of trust and that we should be using it as well. So I think that’s the kind of voice I want to have. And I just want to be able to reach out to people and tell them that Ayurveda, what it does, what it stands for is so beneficial. People don’t have too much knowledge about it. So that’s what we want to do. We want to educate people, we will pass this knowledge on. And Kapiva gave me this platform to talk about it at length.

Q. Can you take us back to the very first commercial you worked on and explain your background?

I vaguely remember thinking I did a fashion editorial. After this editorial, I did magazine covers, then I did a lot of TVC. I had done other little things as a kid when I was in school. I worked in one of those amusement park ads.

Q. Can you share some of your favorite personal ads?

Wow. I’ve had so many. I think back then it was a little less tiring in the sense that it wasn’t that hectic. The work is intense at the end of the day. Once on set it’s hectic but it was a lot easier – the whole process. But yeah, I remember my MR Coffee ad or my Wrangler ad. I had made cookie ads, made crisps and then a whole bunch of stuff. My mother would be in a better position to answer this question. She’s the one who has probably kept tabs on all the work I’ve done over the years. I tend to forget some of the things that I have done. I’m like ‘Oh, my God, I did that.’ It was some time ago.



Q. What is your selection process behind the selection of your branded offerings? You mentioned that you were a Kapiva user before you became its Brand Ambassador, is that something you follow for other brands as well? Do you prefer to endorse the products and services that you use in real life?

Well, I won’t say that I just endorse the brands that I use, but I also have to have synergy with the brand that I endorse. We have to share a similar ethic, mindset and purpose in terms of what we want to do and how we want to achieve. There are some brands that I’m not at all comfortable with because they don’t really fit into my schema. There are certain brands that I am completely against. And there are some brands that I haven’t tried as a regular consumer, but have been made aware or realized over time. And I got on board if I felt it a little jelly with me. Obviously, I won’t be okay with approving something that just doesn’t fit my scheme of things. Every time, before I have a chat about any of the brands that I am associated with, I always ask if I should wear it, if I have to consume it, if I have to use it, I have to feel comfortable before actually boarding.

Q. The marketing and advertising landscape has changed a lot since you started and especially after the emergence of social media. So what do you think consumers want from brands today?

Ultimately, you have to sign in with a brand. There must be some pointers that must stand out; be it marketing, market value, price, access to brands, etc. So yes, nowadays people are suddenly much more aware and aware of fitness, of wellness. It was still there, but there wasn’t much emphasis. Now the kind of focus on fitness, wellness, holistic living is much more important and, and because of the pandemic, people are much more aware. Thus, products that fall under the field of fitness or well-being have become the need of the hour. So there is a lot of demand for that.

Q. What is the one thing you would like marks in India to notice or modify?

Everyone talks about sustainability; respectful of the environment, sustainable development, respectful of the environment, these are the things that are necessary at the moment. And if we don’t think in that direction, then our beautiful mother Earth will suffer. I think we have experienced a pandemic, it is probably also because of that, because consumption has reached an all time high. The carbon footprint as a whole has become a major issue. It was nature’s way to reset and rebalance the universe. So you have to respect and love your mother Earth and in turn, she will love you back. She will protect you.

Q. There is a certain career chart that every actor goes through and there are always ups and downs. You have always been green in this industry. So what advice would you give to aspiring actors or content creators?

No, I’m going to deny you there, I’ve had my share of ups and downs. So I am extremely grateful. I feel extremely lucky for the opportunities that I have, and the opportunities that I have been able to take advantage of, but I have had my fair share of ups and downs. At the end of the day, I think what’s really important in this business is to stay relevant. And the only way to stay relevant is to keep reinventing, you have to stay current, understand what your audience, your consumer, your fan base, what they expect. So, I changed over time. It’s not that I just changed for the sake of changing, you also have to keep up with the times. So I tend to do that and of course there are some things that I still understand and get used to, but the idea is to stay relevant.

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