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Shivarajkumar did viral reels with Danish Sait and Vikipedia for Ghost to connect with his Gen-Z fans

To capitalize on the Century Star’s post-Jailer popularity among fans who were clueless about his body of work, the marketing team at Big Little got him to do social media activities with influencers

Shivarajkumar did viral reels with Danish Sait and Vikipedia for Ghost to connect with his Gen-Z fans
Shivarajkumar went out of his way to create content that would appeal to his Gen Z fans

Last Updated: 11.18 PM, Nov 02, 2023


Century Star Shivarajkumar is not the most social media savvy or even aware of the potential reach that a post can attain. His daughter Niveditha handles his social media profile, on the condition that whatever goes out on his page reflects his style and wit. When the marketing team of Big Little, which has been handling promotions of Shviarajkumar’s films since last year’s Vedha, then told him that Ghost was a film that would need social media promotions, he didn’t need much of a push to be on board with their plans. Bharath Sudhama of the Big Little explains, “All that we had to tell him is that there is an entire group of people on social media who are not aware of the hysteria behind Shivanna. This is the generation that thrives on Instagram, Snapchat, filters, etc., most of who are his post-Jailer fans, but remain unaware of the star power of, say, Rajinikanth, or Shivanna, for that matter. We wanted to turn this around,” he says.

The social media promotions of Ghost began with the actor joining director MG Srinivas to speak to fans on an X (Twitter) space discussion about the film organized by Kannada movie aficionados. This was followed up by an #AskNimmaShivanna campaign. “It was meant to have Shivanna answer queries from fans as video messages, which he did for a few interesting questions. After a point, though, our team took over to respond to queries that were pouring in. This does not mean that we typed whatever came to our mind. In fact, the response to a fan’s request for a dialogue from Ghost, was a quick retort by Shivanna asking if he’d also want the entire film uploaded on Whatsapp. While you may think that we came up with this ‘punch line’, Shivanna had said it and we just keyed it in,” explains Bharath, adding “We gave the actor’s fans a glimpse of his off-screen persona in this online session.”

Keeping all this in mind, we then thought it would be apt to bring in a set of popular influencers, like, Danish Sait, Vikipedia, ec. “We wanted to collaborate with these influencers, but in a way that would allow them to showcase their brand of humour unhindered. We did not want them to turn up and wonder how best to highlight Shivanna. We wanted them to come up with whatever they wanted to do. The only brief to them was that they should align Shivanna and his brand of humour. Vikipedia’s two-part video was a rip-off of his Jailer sequence. In Danish’s video, when he says “Cut”, Shivanna responds with “Yaranna”, which was his genuine reaction that was not scripted,” he says.


Irrespective of the response to this online campaign, Bharat says that they wanted to go ahead with it because no actors of Shivarajkumar’s caliber, or much junior, would be ready to do such self-deprecating content. “It helps that Shivanna is quite easy-going. You just need to convince him that this is the right approach. He had the option to walk away, but the professional that he is, he decided to go ahead with whatever is more entertaining and that so happened to be the social media campaign. He just wants to know where the content will be put and what his target audience is, as well as why not everyone was allowed the same level of humour,” Bharat says, adding, “With a Danish, you are expecting him to poke fun at certain people. As audiences, we are prepared for that, but had I done that video and not Danish, the entire comment section would have been his fans dissing me. It was important to know who would do what kind of comedy with Shivanna and understand if people will receive it well. That is why, say, Vikipedia does not do humour with Shivanna in the two-part reel for Ghost’s promotions.”

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