2023 marked the rising influence of content creators beyond reels and brand testimonials. Many popular social-media influencers and creators have begun featuring in movies besides OTT shows with some even playing leading roles. At the same time, brands are increasingly warming up to making influencers the face of their ad campaigns.

Tusharr Kumar, COO, OML Entertainment , “Creators and influencers have become very mainstream. The first set of creators who took their content to OTT platforms were comedy content creators . We are now seeing more and more creators and influencers being featured in OTT shows, TV shows and even feature films. They are able to drive a high level of relatability especially among the younger audiences and hence it makes sense for platforms and studios to bring the same faces onto the big screen.”

Influencers and creators such as Kusha Kapila, Anubhav Singh Bassi ,Danish Sait, Bhuvan Bam and Viraj Ghelani among others have featured in movies and OTT series

“Established content creators are not merely endorsing brands or giving brand testimonials but have begun featuring in full-fledged movies or OTT shows. We are also seeing ads which are fronted by creators, where they are the face of the brand. This trend is not just happening in Hindi cinema but also in regional cinema and this is only going to increase,” said Ramya Ramachandran, Founder, Whoppl.

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This is helping creators grow their incomes while helping producers and brands garner dedicated viewership. Divyansh Gala, Group Head-Outreach, SoCheers pointed out that the constant influx of new creators is offering brands a diverse array of options for their social deals. “Naturally, established influencers are seeking to diversify their income streams beyond brand deals by venturing into acting in films, series and ads. Leveraging the pre-existing and dedicated audience of these influencers ensures a ready-made viewership that goes beyond conventional promotion methods,” he added.

Meanwhile, brands are increasingly leaning on influencers to promote their products. “Today influencer marketing has become an “always on” plan for most brands in India. Brands are not just looking to create awareness for their products but are also leveraging influencers to drive purchases and loyalty,” Ramachandran added.

While the size of the influencer marketing pie has grown, the Consumer Affairs Ministry, SEBI and ASCI are also attempting to bring more transparency in the ecosystem. Ambika Sharma, Founder and MD, Pulp Strategy said, this has made financial services brands and health and wellness product makers become more careful regarding their influencer-led promotional campaigns. “ “This is a positive development and will definitely curb instances of mis-selling. It will make the creator ecosystem more accountable and help the creator ecosystem grow as an industry,” she added.

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