Friday, June 4, 2010

PR Blunders: Vivek Oberoi presents a good case to study

Vivek oberoi made a bombastic debut in 2002 with his films Company and Sathiya, very soon he was touted as an actor with huge potential . But his career path didnt go the way it was expected, soon after this ,flops like Kyon ho gaya na,Kisna & Home delivery followed as a result of which Vivek's career graph took a downward turn. Though in the due course of time he gave hits like Omkara & Shoot out at Lokhandwala but since these films were multistarer the credit had to be distributed among a larger lot of actors .As an actor he had always been a reservoir of fresh talent but in spite of that things were not working out for him . Though inability to perform at the box office was definitely a factor but poor marketing & pr along with extremely bad man management skills were also equally responsible. Some of the very big PR blunders which he did were:-

1> Having differences with each & every one that came across him:-
He had troubles with his mentor ramgopal verma, had troubles with Shaad ali during Sathiya's making, had trouble with Sanjay dutt and Aporva lakhia during Mission istanbul's making, with Salman khan, bachans etc over Aishwariya rai. Now if someone has such a large no. of fights then there is definitely something wrong with him. One must understand that Bollywood is a place where personal relationship matters the most, & in such an industry if you make an image of a trouble child for yourself you are definitely going to make a big loss. The same happened with Vivek. His attitude problem compelled good makers to keep distance from him.

2> Salman Khan Episode: - The entire Salman Khan episode did a lot of negative publicity for mr. Oberoi. First of all he showed his childish attitude by making the issue of personal phone calls public, but his biggest blunder was the apologizing act where he bent on his knees to apologize from Salman khan .This added nothing other than projecting him as an immature, confused & kiddish individual. One must understand that a typical Bollywood hero is someone with whom everyone tries to relate himself; he is someone who has a larger than life kind of image among his fans. So it is quite natural that they expect these heroes to be heroic, brave & matured in their real life also, apologizing in public and that to in such a stupid way can never be well received by the general public . One must understand the general sentiment that “a hero is after all a hero, how could he act foolish in public ". By acting in that manner Vivek achieved nothing but of course made a fool of himself.

3> Aishwariya Rai episode :- This is another area where Vivek showed that how kiddish one can be . Aishwariya Rai never admitted the fact that she is having a relationship with Vivek oberoi, but it was this blabbering Vivek oberoi who even went to the extent to herald that he will be marrying Ash. Not even this even when the cat was out of the box and it was very well known that Ash & Abhiseck are going to tie knot Vivek could not control the temptation to come up with stupid comments in the media. This entire episode added another feathers of immaturity in his cap.

4> Consistent insistence on showing off himself as someone terrific, someone very moralistic & someone holier than thou :- during his initial days ,In each and every one of his interview Mr. Oberoi used to put a lot emphasis on himself, starting from the fact that he is a great actor, a wonderful womanizer, a complete teetotaler to the fact that he is a big time foodie( because he is a teetotaler, now even I don't know how come there be relationship between one's gastronomic inclinations and whether one is a teetotaler or not ).His approach of projecting himself in such a good light looked very artificial and irritating. One must understand that it's essential to promote oneself in Bollywood but again point to be noted is that it's one thing to promote yourself and entirely different thing to be an ego maniac. Beyond a point bragging does a tremendous harm to one's image, both in eyes of general public as well as the media.


  1. Good work Paritosh.
    I completely agree with what you say about managing PR in Bollywood and can see the loss suffered by Vivek because of his behavior.
    But as they say every rule has an exception and this one of keeping good image in public too has its outliers.
    Outlier Number 1 - Salman Khan
    The man you ve quoted in your blog several times in your blog himself has been the bad boy of Bollywood.
    Fight with - Bacchans, SRK, Vivek, Media.
    Criminal acts - like, rash driving,poaching.
    Irresponsible Behavior - acting rude in public, coming late for shooting.
    Despite this, Salman khan has been able to gain mass support for himself. People love him for his shortcomings. They can relate to him as being one of them who makes mistakes and commits errors. Grand opening to his movies is an evidence of his popularity.(though movie eventually fails due to poor storylines.)
    Outlier No. 2 - Sanjay Dutt
    Again a REBEL.
    Drugs, illegal weapons made him the spoiled kid of a successful father. (Late shri.sunil dutt.)
    Even went to jail for some time and was finally released and public welcomed him by giving him a hit film like Khalnayak. Though it was a role with grey shades but still he carved a niche for himself.
    This guy went to the extent of marrying an Item Girl Manyata who is half his age. But despite this, he has not lost his charm and people consider him as the real follower of Gnadhigiri and expect a Jaadu ki Jhappi from this Munna Bhaai.

    I dont mean to say that the rule you have stated is wrong. It has many examples like, Puru Rajkumar, Shiney Ahuja etc. But was just projecting a few people who made it BIG, despite having a bad PR.

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  2. yes agreed...but the biggest blunder in his life was ofcourse due to salman and aish.Now he has tried to transform himself but its too late.

  3. @ Abhiseck...
    1st up all thanks 4 such a detailed i will like 2 put my perspective on these two outliers

    Salman Khan :- Salman was indeed a trouble child but if you see his over all image which is of a moody, flambouyant & aggressive actor his mischives were a kind of add on.Salman was never stupid as Vivek, n even though aggressive was quite matured enough in dealing with the press.... the best example was the Vivek oberoi episode where at one end vivek was making hue n cry n at the other end salman dismissed it all by saying vivek is a newcomer n he needs to learn what stardom is all about.Salman also does a lot of charity (with out publicity ) which again helps in mending his negative image

    Now as much Sanjay dutt is concern his activities are also in sink with the kind of roles he play...during his hey days Sanjay mostly played the role of bhai, don or criminal...thus his mischieves could notdo much of suited his bhai kind of image...

  4. now it really looks a bit counter intuitive but we must realize fact that audiences all around the world are quite immature ....being a drug addict or a mischievious element add only glamour to ur brand value( provivded the mischive is nt as henious as some thing like a murder or a rape )...take even the case of Rahul mahajan....the same is true in west..their even having a sexual affair can add value to your overall brand value....but its a different thing to be mischivious n its entirely diffrent thing to be case of vivek it was the other one ...

  5. @ Neelima :- yeah thats true but i dont think its too late,vivek is also working hard on his rebranding...(will write on this on some another blog since i m writing a case study on vivek oberoi )..n with films like raktha charitra n bloody paki in his kitty he might do wonders

  6. In film industry your relationship with top directors/producers matter more than any other thing. Like SRK is always the first choice of all KJ movies. Boney kappor and other friends always approach Salman first for nay project. Mani Ratnam always aproches bacchnan family for all roles. Ajay devgan is always the first choice of Prakash Jha movies. Of course they all are good actors and stars that’s why they are approached.
    Also there is huge demand and supply gap. Despite more than 90 % films getting flopped, many producers are ready with corers of money. A good story may not guarantee a hit, but a good star cast and promotion will always guarantee the first weekend to be houseful.
    Also if you look at Saheed Kapoor and Ranbeer Kapoor, they seem to be handling PR in much better way than Vivek.