About seven years ago, I read about Sachin Tendulkar filing taxes as an actor and not as a cricketer. His justification was that the bulk of his income came from acting in advertisements, and not through cricket earnings.
Sachin has endorsed a wide range of products – Pepsi, Visa, Britannia, Boost and even Luminous inverters. None of these have anything to do with cricket. He could not have used all their products. And yet millions of us went out and bought them products merely because Sachin asked us to. So the obvious question is, why do we buy stuff that Sachin has nothing to do with?
There is no logical answer to that question. This is because we are not dealing with the tip of our minds that is conscious and rational. We are dealing with the iceberg that floats below the surface – the unconscious mind.
Our mind chunks things related together. When I think of trees, a large group of other associations spring to mind – autumn, squirrels, birds, fruits, hanging roots and so on. Similarly, Sachin’s endorsement of a brand allows it to hitch a ride on his reputation. The unconscious mind automatically forges a connection between the best batsman in the world, and his iconic MRF bat.
We’d like to think of ourselves as logical and rational creatures, but we are equally good at fooling ourselves into thinking that. This isn’t to say that we aren’t rational in most situations. Nevertheless, celebrity brand endorsements are wholly based on our unconscious and automatic departure from logic.
And one of those departures is why we pay Sachin Tendulkar crores of rupees more to act, which he’s quite pathetic at, than to be the best batsman in the world.