Ages ago (early 2010s), an Indian brand did the unthinkable - brought together the unlikely combination of cement bags and a swimsuit model in a TV advert. It's still 'concrete' in my memory - the ad, and hence the brand. Celebrity endorsements too would have me consider adding another item to my shopping list. I’m among countless consumers whose eyeballs are still grabbed by models, ace actors, and all-star athletes promoting everything from snacks to car insurance. But brands are now looking at another category of trendsetters - social media influencers.  

An internet citizen for long, I’ve observed social media platforms burgeon with users all through the last decade. But as COVID-19 restricted socializing, people filled this vacuum by flocking to such platforms. They served as digital billboards that brands looking to build awareness wanted to optimize. Suddenly, social media influencers had the same magnetism as celebrities, and brands knew what to do. Top industries subscribed to influencer marketing, with 18.5% adoption in the FMCG sector, 16.6% in BFSI, and 15.9% in automobiles.  

And why shouldn’t they?  

Our research report, The Impact of Influencer Marketing in India, reveals that 60% of 311 respondents are aware of social media influencers. Further, Instagram clicked the most with brands at 73.6%, while YouTube fast forwarded to second place at 17%.   

Such scroll-stopping attention shouldn’t be confined to just brand awareness. Dentsu operates at the intersection of marketing, technology, and consulting, matching problems with opportunities that can be explored by influencer marketing. This means expanding focus to other facets of the brand demand cycle, like brand relationships, perception, preference, loyalty, and community. We recognize that technology will be a great enhancer for it all, especially with the arrival of virtual influencers, AI, immersive experiences, and CGI content. But keeping creativity and human motivations at the pulse of influencer interactions will keep brands #trending and #relevant – just how the biggest social media cohorts, i.e., Gen Z and millennials, like it.  

Social media has ushered in the creator economy, where attention is currency. However, navigating this ever-changing space isn’t as easy as hitting the like button. Rest assured and leverage the insights of our report, The Impact of Influencer Marketing in India, to #slay your next digital brand campaign. 

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Dentsu India

Narayan Devanathan

Group Chief Strategic Advisor

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