Influencer marketing has been on the rise on social networks for the past few years, and businesses are now turning to Web 2.0 celebrities to increase their online sales. This new wave of online promoters works in various industries, including beauty, fashion, travel, food and personal development, extolling the magic of a voluptuous life in Dubai.
LAND OF INFLUENCERS
Dubai is also known as ‘the Manhattan of the Middle East' with a population of nearly 90 per cent of expatriates, attracting the most influencers of any city in the world. In recent years, Dubai has truly become the world’s capital of influencers and entertainment: reality TV stars, models and designers from India, the US, France, Lebanon, the UK, and elsewhere seek to inspire their loyal followers from the heights of Burj Khalifa.
Content creation for social media comes in a wide variety, but in the UAE, comedy is one of the most well-received among creators and viewers alike. There are numerous comic influencers in the league, but Rohit Bharati from Mumbai stands out as one of the most popular ones. Along with his wife Mahak and buddy Hamdan Alshirawi, Bharati has produced a wide range of amusing films to amuse his admirers.
Writing, composing, and editing have always intrigued Bharati, who began his work as a writer for a radio station. His humorous videos with satirical commentary on the Dubai summer and traffic have earned a lot of praise. Bharati enjoys conceptualising stories in his thoughts and giving them a humorous touch while he is thinking from scratch.
As the writer of this piece, I was able to infer I would be portraying Bharati's work from his snappy and humorous comments during our brief phone call. So, here is the tale of a young man who discovered his passion in the dorm room of a hostel.
SCOPE OF LAUGHTER DOSE
Bharati used to watch TV commercials rather than the typical desi dramas that most Indian mothers adored. Bharati remembers writing creative stories, poetry, and song parodies during his time in school. "I performed in theatre throughout my time at the hostel, recreated movie scenarios while playing football, and sang commercial jingles in our dorm rooms."
Finding the correct audience is crucial to humour. Bharati describes entertainment as his lifeline and says his mission is to make his audience happy. “ I have always enjoyed entertaining people. My audience could be a single person or an entire hall, but my subconscious goal is to make them smile, therefore that is my main inspiration.”
An excellent video requires careful storyboarding and scripting. A compelling script aids in the video's ability to stay on topic. Scripts are a crucial component of the video production process for Bharati. Unfortunately, this is something that not many people pay attention to, which results in videos that are subpar and not engaging. “A good script, in my opinion, is a recipe; editing is the preparation, and creator is performer, the audience, enjoys the dish,” says Bharati.
Unveiling his secret to a perfect script, he continued: "The ideation process for content development is fairly straightforward. Start with a concept, but first ask yourself, is this relatable? Would I distribute this? If the answer is affirmative, you can write a script based on the idea, start working on pre-production, involve a customer who can be incorporated, shoot the scene, edit it, and publish it. A quality video will market itself automatically.”
Bharati has been updating his social media since 2012, but he only gained prominence until several videos on his online public Instagram page Tidding came to light. He uses constancy as his success motto. “Tidding started in 2016, but by 2022 I seemed to have gotten a little bit of attention. One thing I've discovered is that consistency is key. If you don't publish frequently on social media platforms, your reach will start to decrease. Out of sight, out of mind, and to not continuously publish as a content creator, you must be completely out of your mind,” Bharati giggles.
As the saying goes, 'behind every successful man, there is a woman', this is certainly true with Bharati. The comedian remembers the amusing incident that gave rise to the name of his Instagram account. "I stayed up till the wee hours of the morning trying to decide what I should call the page, and as a result, I ended up falling asleep with my head on the desk and the phone next to me.” As Bollywood legendary actor Shashi Kapoor, once said, ‘Mere pass Maa hai’, Bharati's story also took a turn when good morning WhatsApp messages from his mother swamped his notifications. “Right on cue, at 4 am UAE time and 5:30 am India time, my mother forwarded her customary good morning WhatsApp messages to my phone, which swamped my phone with the notification sound 'tidding, tidding, tidding'. There, with the sound of 'tidding', I experienced a lightbulb moment."
The success of Bharati is a prime illustration of the proverbial phrase 'a lot can happen when two like-minded people join together'. Attributing his success to his wife, Bharati says: "Mahak is the cause behind the plaudits that I am receiving. She puts the method to this madness. She is in charge of content strategy. In 2022, Mahak acquired control of tidding's strategy and ideation and after that, there was no looking back."
MANY ROLES BUT ONE GOAL
With the rise of mobile users and the accessibility of the internet, it may be true that content creators face stiff competition. However, according to Bharati, the true content creator will succeed if they are aware of their speciality and audience and can connect with them on a personal level. "I'm your next-door neighbour," he continued. "Your buddy from school, a coworker at work or your preferred cousin. Because I portray the real me on screen as well as off, I am someone you can relate to. At the end of the day, we are all quite similar."
Bharati has been an internet sensation in the UAE for quite some time now. When he looks back at the memories he made in his overall journey so far, he rejoices in each one of them and labels them as an opportunity for great learning.