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Forbes India – Content Creators, Influencers, Ranbir Kapoor, Covid-19: The Rise Of ‘key Opinion Leaders’ In The Celebrity Vs Creator Battle

Forbes India - Content Creators, Influencers, Ranbir Kapoor, Covid-19: The Rise Of 'key Opinion Leaders' In The Celebrity Vs Creator Battle
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As digital becomes a mainstay for brands, the roles of celebrities and creatives may interchange, often reinforcing each other. Photo: shutterstock
French personal care company L’Oréal has tapped top celebrities to drive engagement and visibility in various markets, including India, for many years. Some of the notable faces associated with the brand include Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor. However, with the onset of the creator economy and the expansion of influencer marketing, the cosmetics company has adjusted its media strategy to balance the tasks between celebrity ambassadors (emphasizing the top funnel for awareness) and influencers (emphasizing the middle funnel of consideration) in the consumer shopping journey. .
“…In the past few years, many brands have turned to influencer marketing and brand advocacy because consumers today are becoming more aware and aware of their skincare and beauty regimen. These consumers are looking to these influencers, who are also beauty experts, for communication true with the products they use,” says a spokesperson for L’Oréal India.
The company says that for its luxury products, including Lancôme and Kiehl’s, influencers definitively play a key role today in driving brand advocacy/love and awareness and are the key opinion leaders (KOLs) in the luxury consumer journey.
“The spirit remains the same and we are conscious in our selection of influencers based on their relevance to the brand and product offering – we have a value matching process – influencers need to represent the brand responsibly,” the spokesperson says.
Aside from large multinational corporations, the rise of direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands targeting digital customers first has created a huge market for influencers who have deep personal equations with their followers and are often more accessible to brands at the expense of celebrities.
Experts believe celebrity ads are the best way to quickly build credibility and visibility, which is still a powerful tool for marketers. However, Karthik Nagarajan, Chief Content Officer, Wavemaker India, and Branded Content, GroupM India, told Storyboard18 that the shutdown was great evidence that next-generation loyalty is as strong, if not stronger, with individual creators than with movie stars or cricket players.
“This is especially true in Tier 2 and 3 cities. Today, a regional YouTuber is likely to attract more audience when going live than most Bollywood stars to promote a movie. I feel we are probably at the peak of celebrity advertising value, and 2022- 23 is the time when the premium will begin to decline,” he notes.

Leverage niche audiences through influencers

Content creators/influencers have a separate space due to the digital ecosystem. One doesn’t feed off of the other, but rather they reinforce each other, believes Prashant Puri, co-founder and CEO of AdLift, a digital marketing agency.
“Brand endorsement through celebrities has always had its place, while influencers/content creators have much smaller audiences and a niche with a particular segment. Hence, brands leverage it for a niche audience,” he explains.
Puri also notes that brands will now be able to gauge the impact on sales with the growth of live commerce in India, where influencers and content creators are often seen talking about the product/service that can be purchased in real time.
“With live commerce, brands will be able to map how influencers move brands and make a real impact on sales as well,” he adds.

The creative economy is getting stronger day by day

Vijay Subramaniam, the old celebrity management industry owner, acknowledges that the emergence of digital creators and influencers has expanded the brand’s circle of endorsements. Subramaniam, who runs influencer marketing platform Big Bang Social and independent celebrity management agency Collective Artist Network, says his two companies are thriving — ruling out the theory that one business is killing the other.
“Aside from cricketers and movie stars, there is the third pillar of content creators that stands out. The digital economy has led to the growth of the brand endorsement pie. People need to stop looking at it from a cannibal point of view and understand that the whole pie of brand endorsement is It has grown,” he confirms.
Some of the notable names in the creative economy: actress and Instagram influencer Janat Zubair Rahmani, YouTuber Bhuvan Bam, fitness enthusiast and content creator Ranveerullah Padhya, Riaz Ali, Kosha Kapila, Dolly Singh, and fashion influencer Kumal Pandey.
However, Subramaniam goes on to admit that the nature of celebrity endorsement deals has changed drastically due to the deals becoming short-term. Regardless of the duration, celebrities also need to be present on social media and are forced to have a certain degree of privilege.
“For influencer businesses, contracts can range from three months to a year, while for top celebrities, rather than multi-year deals, contracts can range from one to two years,” Subramaniam explains.

Pandemic disrupted advocacy work

Dr Sandeep Goyal, Senior Educator, Indian Institute of Human Brands, and Managing Director, Rediffusion, stated clearly that there is no indication that the top five to ten celebrities are becoming more or less affordable.
“However, things may change if big movie releases dry up, which will reduce the appearances of big stars. In this industry, vision and performance are of paramount importance. Ranbir Kapoor, for example, hasn’t had a movie in three years. Fortunes have not been Celebrities are booming as they were before when Covid-19 started. There may be a correction in the market due to the third wave depending on how big the impact is on the habit of going to the movies in general as well,” he notes.

As digital becomes a mainstay for brands, the roles of celebrities and creatives may interchange, often reinforcing each other. While celebrities will have to work to become more connected to them, influencers and content creators will have to become more accountable for their media investment.

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