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People don’t open social media platforms to look at ads but to consume content and that is why creative freedom is of utmost importance, said content creator Viraj Ghelani when asked about his process for creating content for brands.

Ghelani was speaking at GroupM’s Brew2022 session titled, ‘Creators- the biggest carriers of brand communication’. He was joined by other top creators such as Yashraj Mukhate, Ahsaas Channa, and Raunak Ramteke.

“People don’t open Instagram for ads, they want to consume content. I want to make ads like they are consumable content. This is why I make videos that are funny and relatable to people due to which the horizon of the people that used to follow me was 18-25, now it is 18-45,” he said.

“Paid partnerships are great because we are being paid which leads to better-looking videos. However, as a brand, you need to understand that we know our audiences the best,” he added. 

Adding to the topic, Ahsaas Channa said most creators want to work with the same brand again and again. However, it is equally important for brands to trust influencers. 

“While consuming content, I am more likely to buy something that was in the background, this is the kind of subtle integration the audience are expecting.” 

Ghelani further gave an example of a brand integration he did for Zomato. “When Zomato came to me, they gave me full freedom to insert integrations and captions as I wanted. This video got 2 million shares on Instagram after which I got a six-month deal with Zomato who told me to continue with the videos,” he said. 

“Advertisers need to understand that we don’t need to make videos around the brand. We make videos for people, to catch the eye of the audience. This is not an easy task,” added Ghelani. 

ASCI guideline, boon or curse? 

Almost a year ago, the ASCI (Advertising Standards Council of India) introduced guidelines for social media creators. The guidelines state that creators should include tags like ‘paid partnership’ and ‘ad’ to avoid misleading the consumers. 

When asked how the industry has accepted the guidelines, Yashraj Mukhate said it is always a risk. “Earlier, the audiences used to sit and relate to the content before sharing it. However, the tags might lead them to exit the ad before they have consumed it,” Mukhate said. 

“At the end of the day, even if not for monetary reasons, we want our videos to do well,” he added. 

Ramteke, meanwhile, offered a different perspective by saying, “While some creators are using the tags, not everyone is. So, it should either be a rule for everyone or not at all.”