Who is Balakrishnan Vaali? Balakrishnan Vaali is the new brand ambassador of Nestlé Munch and a look-alike of cricketer Virat Kohli. With a bevy of endorsements coming this young cricketer’s way, Virat Kohli has positively leveraged his brand appeal. An awesome performance on the field coupled with good looks, positive attitude and now an excellent character personation as ‘Balakrishnan Vaali’ for Nestlé Munch, Virat is all set to promote the new Nestlé Munch 4X4 made from four rich layers of wafer and choco.

Though he resembles the dynamic young cricketer in looks, Balakrishnan Vaali is diametrically opposite to Virat and very poor at cricket too. He leads a boring life but manages to create exciting moments with his craze for Munch, which is well depicted in this ad film:

The ad video uploaded on the YouTube brand channel of Munch on the 27th of February, has already garnered more than 5 lakh views. As is the reigning custom with TVC releases, the new ad film was also launched exclusively for the social media fans three days before it went on air. Of course, the ad video wasn’t shared without creating an element of curiosity around it on the social media channels. To add to this, Balakrishnan was also brought alive through social media!

Launching ‘Balakrishnan Vaali’ on social media

Weeks after the online world wondered what was going on in Virat’s head, to be only welcomed by the new Cinthol range of deos, he had already taken the avatar of ‘Balakrishnan Vaali’ – the unamusing look-alike of Virat Kohli. And, what’s more – Balakrishnan has his own Twitter account and a personal Facebook page with a horde of followers on both the networks!

Interestingly, the Nestlé Munch Facebook page introduced its new brand ambassador with the below image and his Twitter page. As you can see the photo has been airbrushed graphically, but does bear resemblance to Virat. Fans were invited to follow @BKVaali to know more about the new face of the brand. This was followed up by short teaser videos about what friends of Vaali thought about him. Some adorable limericks followed later and the new TVC was unveiled showing Vaali’s connection with cricket.

Balakrishnan Vaali FB content

Evidently, the TVC Facebook update received more than 57K likes, 3K shares and 1K comments. The page has since then introduced the new Munch and continued with sharing Vaali’s love for the crunchy Munch. The page has also maintained a funny tone throughout the teaser and the launch with content that appeals to the target group. Savour this limerick – “Friday makes me feel alive, Weekend tells me Sunday is to arrive, Appa reads books, Amma cooks lunch, I sit in Balcony crunching my Munch!’

Vaali’s personal Facebook page comes across as the regular Chennaite guy from Kendriya Vidyalaya and who likes the pages of Munch, Chennai Traffic Police, Idli, Dosa and Sri Devi! His also mentions that crunch, coffee and chocolates are his only love in life.

Vaali’s Twitter page is super fun to follow. The tweets reflect a colloquial style of Tamil just as in the Munch Facebook page, with complete emphasis on Vaali’s interest in Munch. Vaali shares his crunchy moments, his difficulty in learning Hindi, his amma and appa stories, his stupid brother, uncle and also a friend named Venky. Vaali has created many conversations around hashtags beginning with #YoVaaliSofunny where he invited questions about him. #CrunchMoment and #MakesMyLifeCrunchier encouraged twitteraties to share what makes their life crunchy.




But, what I liked best of all is to see Vaali busy communicating with everyone on Twitter. Vaali’s Twitter page follows 108 and has 399 followers (including me!) as I write this.

An innovative launch

At the moment, getting Virat Kohli to endorse your youth oriented brand is a cool idea. And, creating an adorable look-alike with an absolutely opposite personality to Virat and getting him to endorse your brand is even cooler. But, the coolest of all is creating a Facebook and Twitter page for him, complete with the regular-guy-from-Chennai look. I am both impressed and amused at this innovative idea of launching the face of a brand. Well done Nestlé Munch!

The other thing that deserves a mention in this campaign is the tweet by Virat Kohli from his official Twitter account. The young cricketer has shared the TV ad featuring Vaali and added that he is getting nonstop calls because of this Vaali guy. So much for fun!

All in all, it is a cool and well-targeted launch campaign beginning with a teaser and then the exclusive TVC release for the online community through social media. The concept of making a dull life exciting with a Munch is well conveyed through the ad, and add to that the character extension through social media, Balakrishnan Vaali becomes unforgettable!

So, how do you like Balakrishnan Vaali? Does he signal the future of brand ambassador launches on social media?