In a major reversal of roles in celebrity endorsement, MTS India has roped in digital celebrities – the 16-year old YouTube sensation, Shraddha Sharma and the most popular anonymous cricket blogger ‘Fake IPL Player’ for its broadband services brand ‘MBlaze’.
Shraddha Sharma has nearly 55K subscribers on her YouTube brand channel with a staggering total of more than 7 million views of her videos, apart from thousands of followers on her various online properties. And Fake IPL Player, who was later revealed to be a marketing specialist from Bangalore named Anupam Mukerji has a fan following of more than 10K on Twitter, apart from a widely followed full-fledged cricket website and other social channels.
Today, anybody with talent can become a celebrity with the power of social media in their hands. This can be specifically citied about Shraddha and Anupam with both turning celebrities overnight. Shraddha would have been a bathroom singer if not for YouTube while Anupam would have never become the Fake IPL player if not for blogger. And what powers these tools of self-promotion is a reliable, high-speed broadband internet – which is what MBlaze is being positioned as – with its tagline ‘Always On’.
The brand has created a TVC that brings home the power of MBlaze in reaching out from the clutter towards fame and money. While Shraddha might appeal to the youngsters with her tremendous youth connect, Anupam’s well-found fame is a story most digital veterans can relate to easily.
The brands message is also being widely propagated through its various online social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and G+, which is in turn getting viral through Shraddha and Anupam’s massive fan following. But nothing much has been done beyond the TVCs to bring about conversation amongst the fans. Perhaps the brand has plans in place to be implemented in the next phase.
With brands increasingly finding newer ways to connect with their potential consumers, MTS India is second in line after Marico’s Hair n Care to ride on to Shraddha’s popularity on the internet. Shraddha was roped in last month to promote the product to the youth with a TVC featuring herself in her new song ‘Just Trust Me’.
Traditionally the bigger the brand, the bigger the celebrity to endorse it and none of it was about connecting with the commoners in any way. However, in this digital age, we can see new waves have turned the equation of power with social media giving birth to new stars on the internet. It has become imperative for brands to begin looking for stars on the internet!
Last year when Google Chrome came up with people’s stories of how the brands various products had helped them achieve something out of their lives, we were treated to the story of a popular Indian food blogger, Archana Doshi in a web campaign aimed at its tagline ‘The web is what you make of it”. Today Archana has built a robust business out of her blog that started off as a hobby.
While traditional brands are afraid to embrace the new, it is the newer entrants like MTS and Marico who have taken up the baton leading to a new change in social media dynamics. Will bigger brands eventually wake up to this new phenomenon?