While I would love to accept all Thalaivar legends without question or qualification I have to say that after making my post on Rajinikanth’s famed avoidance of brand endorsements, I had a sudden flashback. I remembered a billboard I saw in Singapore in 2016 when I was there for the Biennale. It was for Lebra a global media and mobile services company. I then realized that while our Thailavar may not do personal endorsements his brand is associated with many others via the various movies he has starred in. I did some research and quickly found a list of Brand associations for Kabali. The associated brands include including AirAsia Airlines, Cadbury, Muthoot Fincorp, Airtel, PVR Cinemas, Amazon, Citi Bank, VS Hospitals. Most telling and disappointing of all was the apparent association of the Rajinikanth brand with Emani’s Fair and Handsome skin lightening cream which involves a contest in which 50 winners will get to attend the film’s success meet. A truly ironic pairing of brands – that of Kolywood’s first black SUPERSTAR with a Brand that addresses those who want to lighten up.
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