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THE JOURNEY OF HUMOR MARKETING IN INDIA

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Humor has marketed itself in India in varied ways. Whether it is laughing clubs, standalone comedy
shows or through the online community, humor marketing is pacing up in India.
From stand- alone to brand-alone, many stand –up comedians like Zakir Khan, Abish Mathew have made
themselves in to brands. Starting from stage shows to owning digital shows, these names have managed
to collect fan followings similar to Bollywood celebrities.
Not just these comedians but many online humor communities have made a good name in the market
as well and as a result have attracted brands who want to associate with them. One such online
community which started way back in 2010 and now owns a full webpage and millions of followers is
‘RVCJ’.

‘DIGITAL MAESTRO’

‘RVCJ’ was established when India was seeing a new phase of digital transformation and people were
indulging in online content. Started as ‘RajnikantVsCIDJokes’ on Facebook as a community with limited
members, RVCJ has seen huge transformation. While catching up with the Pitch Team, Shahid Javed
Ansari, Founder & CEO, discussed how meme culture and humor has marketed itself in India. ‘Before the
social media phase came into existence in India, the only source of entertainment were television and
radio channels. Then came the era of social media, which was liked by the audience as this gave them
freedom to write, comment and share their feelings. We started our journey early in 2010 as a Facebook
community, when Orkut died and Facebook was emerging, since then we have been following the
trends. Our posts were dedicated to the daily lives of our audiences and current topics – we would
generate content out of that,’ said Shahid.

NAME-GAME-FAME

RajnikantVsCIDJokes was revamped and was named RVCJ. Talking about how he came to name the
community after a famous India television serial, Shahid said, ‘At the time when we started our
Facebook community, we were looking for a good name for it. It was in October 2010, that a movie
named ‘ROBOT’ starring superstar ‘Rajnikant’ was released. As you might be aware, Rajnikant has a fan
following of millions and so does the famous Indian television series, CID. We were inspired by these
and RajnikantVsCIDJOKES was born. It broke the internet and was loved by everyone.’

THE ONLINE-COMMUNITY IS A TWO-WAY THING

Regarding offline content, Shahid said, ‘The content consumed by television is very straightforward and
one way, you cannot interact with it. You see an ad once and you forget about it till it comes again in
front of your eyes. Whereas, the online game is strong, it’s interactive and engaging. In fact, just a
couple of months in to our launch, we started getting inquiries from brands for the associations and also
from the Indian movie fraternity. There was a simple reason for this, the content which audiences were
consuming on their mobile phones was very personalized and viewers were commenting on it, whether

they liked it or not, and were also sharing it on social media platforms. This two-way sharing is very
impactful.’
With 14 Million Facebook followers, 1.5 Million Instagram followers and 180,000 twitter followers, RVCJ
has managed to make a name in the humor industry and as result brands like Big Bazaar have turned to
meme-based marketing and have partnered with RVCJ.

 

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