Ad-vantage NTR
Tarak jumps onto the ‘brandwagon’ giving Mahesh Babu a run for
his money
Star wars in T-town get a new twist this summer. If sources are
to be believed, the brand war between Mahesh Babu and Junior
NTR is getting hotter by the day with Tarak edging out Mahesh to
become the face of a jewellery advertisement.
The brand war takes on a deeper connotation as the battle
between Mahesh and NTR for the numero uno slot in Tollywood
is well-known. Ever since Chiranjeevi quit films and got into
politics, the top slot in Tollywood has always been subject to
While some say Mahesh is ‘Number One’ as his films get the
biggest openings, others say it is Junior NTR, as he has a lot of
blockbusters to his credit. In fact, NTR’s fans have given him the
epithet ‘A1 star’, to convey the message that they believe Tarak is
the top hero in T-town.
Though fan fights are an old phenomenon in Tollywood, brand
wars are certainly a new trend. Mahesh took up endorsements
much before any other hero his age. He now endorses a soft
drink, hair oil, an apparel brand, a mobile, a shampoo, a shaving
blade, a cellular operator, etc. He reportedly earns about 20 crore
on endorsements alone, every year and supposedly charges
about 35 lakh per day for promotional visits. Our sources say he
earned more money on endorsements in the last two years than
on films, as he didn’t have a release for almost three years.

NTR, on the other hand, despite recent flop “Shakti” is on a high
with two hits last year. “Tarak always wanted to be number one.
He says there is nothing wrong in aspiring to be the biggest star
and strives for it. He has been working consciously towards it and
so got into endorsements recently as he has not done any for
long,” said a close aide of the star.
That perhaps explains why NTR signed up for a pain relief balm
which is a rival brand of the one that is endorsed by Mahesh. NTR
shot the ad with Mallaika Arora Khan and Tamil superstar Suriya.
Going by our sources, NTR has upped the ante by bagging a
talcum powder brand and the ad was shot by director S S
Rajamouli recently. This ad too was supposed to have gone to
Even the recent jewellery endorsement, our sources say, was
snatched from Mahesh by NTR who agreed to do it for less.
“Mahesh charges a hefty amount. He charges 35 lakh to 40 lakh
for one appearance. Tarak, who entered the endorsement space
recently, is keen on expanding his brand endorsement base and
hence quoted a lesser price. Besides, he too is a crowdpuller and
hence the brand didn’t mind,” said an actor close to NTR.
Though NTR claims that he stayed away from endorsements as
he wanted to promote only‘trustworthy’ products, anyone who
knows the star rivalry clearly know that competition forced him to
suddenly find‘trustworthy’ brands. In the long run, whether NTR
will usurp Mahesh’s place in the ‘brand world’ is something we
will have to wait and watch.



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