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Culture Round-Up: Covid news, IPL, Friends: The Reunion ruled online conversations in May

The report by Starcom also indicated that with Tiktok banned, Instagram Reels with their ‘cool’ editing options are becoming quite the rage

by exchange4media Staff
Published - Jun 19, 2021 8:11 AM Updated- Jun 19, 2021 8:11 AM

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With major happenings like COVID-led lockdown and IPL suspension, May was quite an eventful month. Keeping the relevance of the online chatter created through the month, Publicis-owned agency Starcom has rolled out a monthly Culture Round-Up of key topics that are trending across platforms (In the last 30 days) that has gathered insights into the audiences -- what they like, what they hate, and how they are feeling. 

The insights have indicated that the events of May that created the majority of online chatter were issues like COVID, IPL and the most anticipated Friends Reunion. We take a look at its major revelations and what aspects dominated online chatter, as revealed by the report.

IPL fever 

The report indicates that cricket (IPL) was trending on both Google and Twitter. Formerly, the matches and the competing teams and players were trending and later the IPL being postponed due to the rising cases of COVID 19 was another talking point. 

The brands and the ads that made headlines during IPL commercials (Cred, MagicPin, etc.) also trended. Even though IPL happened for a span of few days before it got rescheduled, it was trending far more on social media.

Covid conversations

The term lockdown was trending primarily on Google as multiple states had been enforcing and extending COVID-19 lockdowns in an attempt to control and limit the second wave through the month. So conversations on new vaccines and treatments were trending primarily on Google.  

People were interested in topics like vaccines, their costs, availability, people lining up for CT Scans for detection, the rising cases of Black fungus post getting infected by COVID 19 and lack of resources- Crowdsourcing relevant data and resources. India crossing all benchmarks with the highest number of reported cases in a day due to COVID was trending primarily on Twitter.

The return of PUBG and the Friends Reunion

The return of PUBG mobile in India had the netizens excited and the topic became a huge part of online discussions. It was trending primarily on Google and Twitter. Similarly, The Friends Reunion was another big talking point online. 

Twitter- the virtual battleground arena of opinions

Other key indications were that people love sharing their opinions and Twitter is the perfect platform for them to share their thoughts and engage in conversations with like-minded folks, and engage in debate with people with differing opinions. It showed that users are looking up information about football and matches yet brands aren’t engaging on this content but football isn’t trending as much on Twitter because the audience isn’t as vast nor as vocal as-is for cricket. It also indicated that on Twitter- either the matter becomes a meme (eg.- Adar Poonavala’s move to London), or a fiery debate. Moreover, it showed that with the vast amount of content getting released so frequently, brands have the opportunity to leverage the celebrities and/or their newly/soon-to-be-released content.

OTT boom

The insights reveal that in these tough times, OTT viewing has increased and more and more content is pouring out at an unprecedented rate. According to the insights, BTS has been blowing up the internet for a while now but Indian brands have been slow to catch up to the audiences’ K-Pop fever and brands should take cognizance and start looking beyond Indian film stars and sportspersons for partnerships. It was observed that TVF has championed this art, with the recent success of its ‘TVF Aspirants’ with Unacademy and similarly

brands can collaborate with some of the most awaited songs whose teasers have been released- teasers and first-looks of a song/ video go viral very easily.

The reel sensation

The report reveals that with Tiktok banned, Instagram Reels with their ‘cool’ editing options are becoming the next big thing. Not just influencers, but everyone (public/ private account) are having fun exploring reels and making content. Good, catchy music and a great hook-step take reels to challenge up the notch and brands can be leveraging the same. Redbull took to Instagram to amplify their  Red Bull Campus Clutch: India finals. 

In that way, brands here can take to Instagram to promote and engage the audience with newer avenues of interests for them  (eSports are really picking up, as is gaming). Another finding is that a large number of Gen Z and Millennials are turning to social media and social commerce is picking up in the country so brands can take to Instagram to not just advertise but also set up Instagram Shops and form their ‘Wish lists’ on the Instagram app.

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