Fan following skills help social media stars take a break from Bollywood

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NEW DELHI : A group of young influencers and popular social media faces who have found an audience over the two years of the pandemic will be seen making their Bollywood film debuts in 2022. Prajakta Koli, who previously appeared in a Netflix original , will be seen in Karan Johar’s Jug Jug Jeeyowhile YouTuber Wear Minati does Ajay Devgn Runway 34.

Others like YouTuber and singer Shirley Setia will be seen in a new film starring Shilpa Shetty. Media and entertainment industry experts said filmmakers looking for new faces are aware of the appeal of such names to the younger generation who would flock to see them. Additionally, although these influencers or YouTubers do not have professional acting experience, many of them create unique characters which they play and recreate on their channels and social media accounts, displaying a natural aptitude for be in front of the camera.

“Every director and production house is always on the lookout for popular artists among young people as well as other audiences across India. YouTubers like Prajakta Koli and CarryMinati, along with other popular names in the short video content industry are well known for their relevant content. They become lucrative for new and upcoming projects from directors, music labels and producers,” said Deepak Salvi, COO and co-founder of short video app Chingari.

He said the trend reflects the scope and potential of upcoming creators in the media and entertainment industry.

It’s easier for a director or casting director to present a new face that has already been accepted by the public on a bigger screen than a newcomer, said Akshae Golekar, co-founder of the marketing agency. digital Optiminastic Media.

“Furthermore, the use of social media has grown exponentially over the past few years, alongside the corresponding growth in the film industry. Therefore, filmmakers are looking for talent who use the social media platform” , Golekar said.

Queries sent to the Koli and CarryMinati teams did not elicit a response.

Using influencers in movies is similar to how brands try to leverage their digital influence for wider reach, said Rajni Daswani, director of digital marketing at SoCheers, a digital agency.

“Furthermore, unlike actors who play a role in a movie, these influencers can create multiple personas and personalities and display an array of acting talents on their digital platforms,” ​​Daswani said.

Many data-driven decisions are made today to arrive at casting, noted Dheeraj Kummar, national creative director – brand and customer experience at Motivator, a media agency owned by GroupM.

“From the perspective of a specific target audience or demographic, the choice of social media is more important for low-budget movies than big-banner movies, which are mostly driven by mega stars who can attract audiences in movie theaters or give a good opening to a movie,” Kummar said.

Kummar said there’s a sense of pride in seeing someone from your own city or region in a movie while someone who’s live-chatted with you or responded to your comment or DM gives an instant connection.

Gautam Jain, a partner at media consultancy Ormax, said that according to a 2019 report by the company, the 15-24 year old segment contributed 44% of overall Hindi movie attendance.

“Social media influencers enjoy greater popularity in this segment, making it a win-win casting for the film and the influencer. Also, their following on social media platforms is an added bonus when promoting the movie,” Jain pointed out.

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