Deepika Padukone has emerged as Bollywood’s dark horse in the ad world during 2009, doubling her take-home compared to what she was worth in 2007-2008.
According to media analysts and brand equity watchers, Deepika is much sought after in both premium and mass brands, right from high-end watches, airlines, clotheslines and even chewing gum.
According to industry estimates, from a time when she was charging around Rs 60 lakh for an endorsement.
Deepika now demands almost Rs 1.5 crore per ad, hot on the heels of Kareena Kapoor and Katrina Kaif (both around Rs2 crore an ad) and Priyanka Chopra (Rs1.5–2 crore).
Veteran market analyst Harish Bijoor says it comes as "no surprise" that Deepika’s equity has doubled.
"If you look at the endorsements she has signed, she has been a front runner in landing many leading mass brands. With a few premium brands also signing her up, she’s closely competing with the top league of Kareena Kapoor and Katrina Kaif. However, none of them is even close to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the premium and high-end category."
When contacted, Deepika said that endorsements are basically about versatility of image. "I think what made people accept me is that I can be glamourous and also the girl-next-door. I have heard this from people who have approached me with campaigns and endorsement offers. I have worked really hard to get what I’m getting. I’m very passionate about movies and my constant effort is to outdo myself and challenge my acting skills. I’m happy with what I have got — but this isn’t enough," she says.
So what does she think about the other big three — Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Priyanka Chopra? "I just love how Kareena carries herself. She is extremely graceful. I think Katrina is very hard working and that is a big reason behind her success. Priyanka has shown how versatile she can be and done some very good work recently," said Deepika, who has five back-to-back films releasing in 2010.