She considers herself the face of Brand India. Indians don’t mind at all! And like today’s India, she is a go-getter with her sights set firmly on the world. Read on to see how Aishwarya Rai, or Ash for her fans, still fascinates us with her lissome charm.
The former beauty queen has evolved over the years into a Bollywood star and an international celebrity. She is getting more international attention than any Indian actress ever and it seems her stardom is on the rise. Her latest international movie is ‘The Last Legion’ alongside Ben Kingsley and Colin Firth.
Aishwarya the person
On looks: The verdict is more or less unanimous – she is one of the most beautiful women in the world. Her fan club includes Julia Roberts, Richard Branson, Will Smith, Roger Ebert… and hey, a billion Indians!
On her acting abilities: Well, the jury is still out. But she has never really set the screen alight with her histrionics and it is doubtful she will leave a permanent mark on the silver screen.
Been there, done that: Miss World, super model, international actress, a statue at Madame Tussauds, a jury member at Cannes, on the cover of Time Magazine, featured on the David Letterman show, CBS’s 60 minutes, Good Morning America, and Oprah’s Women across the Globe segment.
In short, she has done well for herself, by herself. For a film industry desperate for international recognition, she is the best bet.
The beauty icon is now a brand unto herself and Brand Aishwarya is going places. Its target audience is the whole world and the brand owner is Ash the person.
Brand Aishwarya has only intangible assets – one, her scintillating beauty and the other her ability to charm her audience irrespective of whether her films do well. More than her movies, it is her international appearances that capture media attention. The brand’s unique selling proposition is her face, which can launch a thousand products. A brand ambassador for L’Oreal, De Beers, Longines, Nakshatra, she takes home at least half a million dollars per ad.
Her detractors say it’s all media hype and clever marketing by canny publicists and by Ash herself. They say she is just a beautiful woman, nothing more. Well, for just a beautiful woman, she has achieved quite a lot! And now with her marriage to Abhishek Bachchan, the brand is further consolidated.
Has Aishwarya’s brand value increased after her marriage? Will a married Aishwarya have the same appeal for a chauvinistic audience? Has she transcended Bollywood and moved onto a higher plane?