New York, July 17 (IANS) Three Bollywood stars, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Abhishek Bachchan, feature in Forbes magazine’s list of 10 celebrities who are brand ambassadors for different mobile phone companies. The three Indian actors are joined by football star David Beckham and tennis champion Maria Sharapova on the list released by the US magazine, otherwise known for its billionaire rankings. Sharapova endorses Sony Ericsson phones and Beckham lends his name to the Motorola RAZR2 phone.
While Shah Rukh lends star power to mobile phones made by Nokia, Abhishek and Aamir endorse Motorola and Samsung phones respectively. The Forbes report said that Nokia, the world’s largest phone manufacturer, “doesn’t work with many celebrities but makes an exception for Shah Rukh, who says he has used Nokia phones for more than a decade.”
It added that after a popular commercial last December, the company sponsored Shah Rukh’s Indian Premier League cricket team earlier this year. The magazine said Abhishek, a former LG Electronics’ brand ambassador, now represents Motorola phones in India, and that he is “Bollywood royalty, thanks to his famous actor father, Amitabh Bachchan, and glamorous actress wife Aishwarya Rai”.
About Aamir, the report said: “After appearing in his first movie at eight, Bollywood star Aamir now produces and directs films, as well as acts. Samsung has said it is counting on his popularity to help it double its market share in India this year.” Samsung also claimed that Aamir’s work mirrors their brand’s “qualities of innovation, change, discovery, self-expression and excellence in performance”.
Explaining how mobile phone companies are now emulating perfume and designer jean makers in hiring celebrities, Forbes said: “As nearly everyone on the planet seems to have a cellphone, device makers must work harder to win new customers. Cool designs and low prices help, of course. But so do celebrities. That’s led phone makers to recruit some A-listers from Usher (a singer) to David Beckham to lend an ear and a smile to selling cellphones.”
Others in the magazine’s ‘Ten Celebs and Their Cells’ list are singers Fergie, Rain (also known as Jung Ji Hoon), Andy Lau and race car driver Danica Patrick.