Shekhar Kapur Trends #Adswedontbuy Using His Twitter Influence

An article that describes how film director Shekhar Kapur started the hashtag '#Adswedontbuy' and got it to the top of the Twitter trending list

Twitter hashtags

It was a field day for twitteraties the whole of yesterday, all over India. The common man had found his voice against misleading advertisements in the form of a hashtag – #Adswedontbuy. When I saw #Adswedontbuy trending right on top of the list, I was shaken a little as to who might have dared to start  such a hashtag in an ad-hungry economy? Soon found out that it was Shekhar Kapur, the critically acclaimed director of Bollywood as well as Hollywood and a well known Twitter personality too, with 170,664 followers to boot.

Shekhar Kapur starts #Adswedontbuy
Shekhar Kapur starts #Adswedontbuy

It all started with his tweet urging twitteraties to tweet every ad they didn’t believe in. And unsurprisingly, Twitter saw a barrage of tweets pouring in by the minute, making it the Top trending topic in India.

#Adswedontbuy report by Hashtracking

From a Hashtracking report based on the last 1500 tweets, there were 1,813,987 impressions generated, reaching an audience of 337,651 followers! And this is data for only 1500 tweets within the past 24 hours, so you can easily estimate what’s the scene right now. Below is a screenshot of the kind of tweets that came in:

#adswedontbuy tweets
#adswedontbuy tweets

This is the power of social media and in Shekhar’s own tweet, “Power of social media we can force advertising to tell us the truth rather than making us feel stupid”, a lot many popular brands have come into the limelight. A few notable ones are Coca Cola, Maggi, Amul Macho, Fair and Lovely, etc. However, we do not see any response or retort on Twitter, from any of the advertising gurus. But, we do see a Shekhar-bashing article on Firstpost that is doing the rounds since yesterday. And if the response by the common man to that article is any indication, then you would not expect another Shekhar-bashing article in the same website by the same author. But then, any publicity is good enough and Firstpost wants to bask in the reflected glory of an influential person. There is a fresh article right from the press that shows how Shekhar himself had modeled for a cigarette company years ago.

Recently, we did a little research about ‘influence’ and tried to see whether social influencers can really bring about a change or is it all a hype. In the time of 140 characters, glamour and cheap marketing publicity, here is one global influencer who made the voice of the common man count on Twitter. When every day brands are trying to conceive some hashtag, either dreaming  or praying to make it viral, #Adswedontbuy is one hashtag that trended at the top, for its sheer empowerment of the voice of the consumer. One may debate that Shekhar Kapur is doing this for fame or publicity for his soon-to-be launched startup, Qyuki. But I believe  he certainly gave the right direction to his influential clout on Twitter. Think about how many would have joined into this hashtag movement, were it started by me? None!

In an earlier tweet in the morning, Shekhar had shared how his friends from the adworld called up to say they did not realize how angry people were, until this hashtag.  Seeing this change, today he has decided to leverage Twitter to bring about change and urges tweeps to add #TwitterforChange and  another one #Theydidedforus for Indian soldiers who died fighting for the nation. So much for minting your social influence for social change!

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