Advertising has been instrumental in giving Bollywood some of its biggest superstars. A huge number of starlets that steal the big screens today started on smaller screens of Television commercials. To this date, advertising is regarded as a leading medium for aspiring actors to get spotted for their talent. Let us look at some such stars that climbed the ranks of advertising before they entered the world of films.
The alluring smile of Deepika was first discovered in this playful ad for Close-Up Toothpaste. The world went crazy for her dimples, effectively landing her entry into showbiz.
Advertising discovered the magic of Salman Khan a whopping three years before Bollywood caught up to him. Salman is seen effortlessly playing football on the field in this engaging Limca commercial. Three years later, he would play an iconic role in the 1988 film Biwi Ho To Aisi, and change the course of Bollywood forever.
Before landing a big break in the movies, Anushka had a brief stint in the South. To this date, many are unaware of a South Indian commercial she acted in for Seboline Soap.
As a teenager, Vidya made her debut through the world of advertising. Ironically, a young Vidya played the role of a middle-aged housewife in a commercial for Surf Excel. She is seen having a playful banter with her son over soiled clothes.
Vidya Balan went on to act in the hit sitcom, Hum Paanch, and many popular Hindi cinemas: Kahaani, Parineeta, Paa, Tumhari Sulu, Mission Mangal, Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Guru, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, No One Killed Jessica, Heyy Baby, Ishqiya, NTR Kathanayakudu, and The Dirty Picture.
Preity Zinta was the bubbly face of advertising before she became the dimple girl of Bollywood. She acted in a series of commercials from Cadbury Perk, Liril, to Pepsi. These commercials of hers take us back to old times when Preity was still a new face.
Aishwarya Rai Bacchan
Aishwarya became the natural choice for advertisers after her historic Miss Universe win in 1994. Even before movies started kicking in, brands began casting her in commercials. In this ad for Pepsi, Aishwarya is seen playing a 2-second role along with Amir Khan and Mahima Chaudhry. She was yet to become the biggest star of them all!
Ayesha Takia and Shahid Kapoor
Ayesha Takia made her debut in the film industry as a bubbly kid, along with another fellow starlet. The original Complan Boy and Complan Girl are no other than Shahid Kapoor and Ayesha Takia! Clad in two adorable ponytails, Ayesha has never been cuter!
Much like Shahid, Vaun too made his debut as a child artist. He featured in a commercial for the competitor of Complan – Bournvita! A young Varun is barely recognizable in this decades-old commercial. See if you can spot him!
We are now on a lookout for current faces in advertising who show the potential of becoming the next generation of Bollywood starlets. Got any leads? 😉