Are brands watching Dancing Uncle's moves?

Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance has signed up Sanjeev Shrivastava to promote their bonus policy

e4m by Madhuwanti Saha
Updated: Jun 6, 2018 9:00 AM

If it was Malayalam actress Priya Prakash Varrier's celluloid wink that made her an online sensation overnight earlier this year, today it is Sanjeev Shrivastava or 'Dancing Uncle', as he is fondly known as.

A video of Shrivastava dancing at a wedding has gone viral and his stellar Bollywood moves (also referred to as Govinda moves) have caught everyone's attention. So much so that Shrivastava, an assistant professor at an engineering college in Bhopal, created a profile on Twitter by the handle @DabbutheDancer on May 31 and has already garnered 4.3K followers.

With people like former politicians such as Omar Abdullah to journalist Barkha Dutt and actor Govinda himself noticing Shrivastava’s dancing skills, there's no denying that the Dancing Uncle's moves have brought him fandom across the nation as well as overseas.

But will brands associate with someone like Shrivastava?

In fact, Karthik Srinivasan, communication consultant, on digital/social media marketing & PR, actually wondered out loud on his LinkedIn blog if a brand “would sign this middle-aged, bald man purely based on his talent and his current viral popularity.”

"He may not be owning multi-million followers on social media accounts, but he is a visible, popular face right now with a legitimate talent. And, given his age profile and Bhopal base, he could be a fantastic fit for many brands that target either region-wise or age-wise. Hope it happens. He sure deserves the fame," wrote Srinivasan.

Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance has capitalised on Shrivastava’s popularity and quickly roped him for their latest announcement of a one-time special bonus for their policyholders. The video sees him dancing to Bajaj Allianz Life’s new jingle ‘Samjho Ho Gaya’ that captures the essence of the brand’s new philosophy ‘Life Goals. DONE.’

Chandramohan Mehra, Chief Marketing Officer, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company Ltd., confessed that the idea was to “ride on the popular wave” and ensure that their “customer-centric bonus offer is reached out in an engaging manner.”

He said, "Sanjeev evokes our brand values of optimism, confidence and youthfulness. The idea emanates from our belief that life insurance is about enabling our policyholders to live life to the fullest and help them achieve their life goals."

Axon Alex, Head of Strategy, The 120 Media Collective, felt that both Priya Varrier and Dancing Uncle emote out honesty and joyfulness, something that brands should incorporate in their communication with their customer.

He said, "Bajaj Allianz did it quickly and they have a history of doing interesting things so it makes sense for them to capitalise on something like this. Context is everything when it comes to capitalising on viral content."

Also, with the next wave of internet users coming from tier-II and III cities in vernacular languages, it becomes imperative for brands to rope in people like Shrivastava to tap into that segment.

Prashant Puri, CEO and CO-founder Adlift, agrees, "Brands would go after this Dancing Uncle who has more presence in tier II and III cities."

The other key question is what kind of content you can generate to become a brand mascot moving forward, points out Puri.

People want to see something new regardless of age, gender and location (read Priya Varrier and Dancing Uncle), and brands have to keep that in mind when it comes to capitalising on viral content, he said.

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