Campaign India Team
Nov 01, 2019

Virushka and Deepveer in close combat for top power couple tag

The inaugural edition of "The Sparklers", a report that analyses power couples, was unveiled recently by the Indian Institute of Human Brands

Actor Anushka Sharma and cricketer Virat Kohli as the formidable 'Virushka' power duo dominate the IIHB rankings
Actor Anushka Sharma and cricketer Virat Kohli as the formidable 'Virushka' power duo dominate the IIHB rankings

In a closely fought match, the power couple team of Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma beat Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh by a whisker in certain parameters like "trustworthiness" and "respect" in the inaugural edition of The Sparklers, a report by the Mumbai-based Indian Institute of Human Brands (IIHB).

With a comprehensive study of Virat-Anushka, Deepika-Ranveer, Ranbir-Alia, Akshay-Twinkle, Abhi-Ash and Saif-Kareena -- the report claims to have covered the 'hottest, and commercially-most-in-demand couples in the country'. Kajol-Ajay Devgn, Shahrukh-Gauri, Madhuri-Dr Nene and Priyanka-Nick were also researched, but their score together remained below acceptable threshold, says a press statement from IIHB. There is also a throw-back study on Romantic Couples of Bollywood since Partition, that forms a part of the report. 

“Power Couples are the new phenomenon in the brand endorsement business with many brands trying to sell aspirational and experiential products to millennial couples who are starting families, using famous couples as the ones to emulate. But there is no empirical research so far on what these Power Couples actually represent or how they are seen by potential audiences. At IIHB we decided to track each one of these trail-blazing couples over a set of 24 important brand attributes,” says Sandeep Goyal, chief mentor, IIHB. 

Trustworthy, Respected, Fun, Distinctive, Charming, Different, Stylish, Progressive, and MFEO (Made-For-Each-Other), were some of the key image, human and personality brand attributes covered by the study. 

Rank Couple  Score   Rank Couple  Score   Rank Couple  Score
1 Virushka  72   1 Virushka  79   1 AksTwink  74
2 DeepVeer 70   2 DeepVeer 78   2 DeepVeer 72
3 AksTwink 65   3 AksTwink 74   3 Virushka 71
Rank Couple  Score   Rank Couple  Score   Rank Couple  Score
1 RanbirAlia  81   1 DeepVeer 72   1 RanbirAlia 76
2 Virushka 81   2 AbhiAsh 70   2 Saifeena 75
3 AksTwink 80   3 AksTwink 68   3 AksTwink 74
Virushka and DeepVeer top score across most attributes, with AksTwink (Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna) a respectable third, despite being much older. Ranbir-Alia despite not being married (the only unmarried couple in the Top 6) do well too, especially on being seen as ‘Different’.
Saifeena are ‘Stylish’ but Abhi-Ash who trail on most attributes are seen to be ‘Traditional’. The study points out that, even as all the couples are bunched together fairly close, yet they have attributes that differentiate them, that can be leveraged by brands.
Virushka and DeepVeer are very close in imagery, AksTwink are ‘Straight Forward’ and ‘Like Us’, hence most relatable. Saifeena are ‘Up To Date’ and ‘Stylish’ but ‘Arrogant’. Abhi-Ash are the laggards of the survey, the reasons may not be hard to explain, as the careers of both partners are largely in doldrums.
“So far, very few Power Couple ads have been exceptional… the best, without doubt being the Maanyavar ad of Virushka. But most others including DeepVeer (Lloyd’s), RanbirAlia (Lay’s) and Saifeena (AirBnB) don’t really sparkle on creatives. Advertisers and their agencies need to carefully match brand attributes to those of the celebrity couple and maximize what the duo best stand for”, says Goyal.
The Romantic Couple survey in the latter part of the Report shows various couple combos over the decades with the top honours going to:
- 1950s    : Raj Kapoor and Nargis
- 1960s    : Guru Dutt and Waheeda
- 1970s    : Amitabh and Rekha
- 1980s    : Amitabh and Parveen Babi
- 1990s    : Shahrukh and Kajol
- 2010s    : Ranbir and Deepika
Amitabh Bachchan is paired amongst the best in two decades with two different heroines. India’s most famous romantic hero Rajesh Khanna doesn’t make the grade despite famous pairings with Sharmila Tagore, Asha Parekh and Mumtaz.
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