Though summer is far away, the mad rush to sign on celebrities by Coke and Pepsi seems to have begun as usual.
The celebrity in cross-hairs is current hot favourite, Kareena Kapoor who has emerged at the top in the popularity charts, with her recent films that include Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai and Yaadein.
The million dollar question is: which way will Kareena jump? Will Coke allow Pepsi an easy walkover in this deal?
The Pepsi spokesperson, while confirming that talks between Pepsi and Kareena are at an 'advanced stage', said that the deal was yet to be inked. Given Coke's reputation and willingness to offer huge amounts to celebrities, like what it has done in the past, Pepsi is playing smart and is keeping its cards close to chest.
Coke maintains that its early moves to sign up Kareena floundered because of her steep asking price. With the general slowdown in the economy and the fact that Coke has splurged huge amounts on its marketing campaigns and signing celebrities, Coke may go slow now. Another factor is that taking Kareena in its portfolio of film stars could also mean a conflict of image and brand perception with Aishwarya Rai, Coke's current celebrity endorser.
But will Coke be sensible? For though at the top, Aishwarya has not had too many movie hits in recent times. And Kareena is hot on her heels.
Pepsi has a large gaggle of sports celebrities but only a few film celebrities, and Kareena might just be the right addition to add glitter to its collection of celebrity endorsers.
It remains to be seen: Who blinks first?
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