A Rajinikanth film release is a phenomenon in itself. His films are celebrated like festivals, marked as events in history and enjoyed by people from all age groups. 

Rajinikanth truly is "not just a name, but an emotion". The superstar was born on December 12 in Bengaluru and named Shivaji Rao Gaekwad. However, he is known as Rajinikanth worldwide. 

As Thalaivar turns 69 on Thursday, fans and celebrities are pouring wishes on the superstar. And here's us wishing Rajinikanth a very Happy Birthday!

On this day, let's take a look at what made Rajinikanth the brand that he is. 

He chose to not endorse a brand

Rajinikanth has the fame, craze and power to endorse whatever brands he chooses. After all, who would say no to Thalaivar? But he has since forever chosen not to endorse brands.

J Mahendran and Rajinikanth's rare and unseen picture
J Mahendran and Rajinikanth's rare and unseen pictureTwitter

His key to success is...

Thalaivar does not take himself too seriously and never tries to live up to his image. This aspect of his personality seems endearing to many. Rajinikanth's down to earth character is loved by many people. 

Simple, yet sensible films

Rajinikanth does not make films with the aim of bagging an Oscar. All he wants to do is to entertain his fans.

A successful 'outsider'

He is an outsider for Tamil film industry. That has its own advantages too. Especially for someone who does not belong to the state, Rajinikanth has a certain fandom. People of Tamil Nadu accepted him and made him the superstar of the south.