In times when people tend to cross the line between humor and bullying, we take a look at how Brand Khali rose up to face the challenge and gave it back to the trollers albeit in a sporty manner, and the role of brands in the same.
Wrestling champion Khali is the latest public figure to come under the attack of the troll army wherein his comment section on Instagram is filled with bizarre requests and ideas in the form of backhanded mockery. While a few have shown genuine respect and admiration for Brand Khali, many crossed over the line, bullying him for his physical appearance. As comments continued to pour in, various brands teamed up, making Khali the face of their current campaigns while seamlessly advocating the thin yet important line between humor and bullying.
It was reported that Khali had limited his comments section after the perpetual outpour which he later denied. In a video shared by him, he stated that Instagram has some guidelines and that it had limited or turned off the comments section.
In yet another video, he even extended warm wishes and gratitude to his followers who think big of him and appreciated their support. The caption read – “Keep enjoying my Instagram and the type of comments all of you are writing, try to write better comments, and don’t do wrong comments.”
Meanwhile, brands like CashKaro, Beardo, Villain Lifestyle, Hulk Boosters Protein, popular meme pages, and apps like ComedyCulture and Memechat roped in the WWE Hall of Fame personality to be their brand ambassador showering support with Khali in their own way, ultimately strengthening Brand Khali. It also provided him a platform to speak up and address the ‘abnormal troll behavior’ where it’s highly suggested to tread a line between fun and trolling for fun.
Khali surpassed the one million followers mark on Instagram and his constant engagement with the followers has made him the marketer’s favorite over the years. From showcasing his personal life to motivating others to stay fit to, the content that he creates has garnered huge eyeballs since he forayed on social media. Sansa doubt, his authentic activities on social media have made him more relevant and opened up brand collaboration opportunities.
Social Samosa takes a look at brand associations and deals the great Khali has signed in recent times.
CashKaro noticed how The Great Khali had been facing trolls with users commenting ridiculous things on his posts. The brand team had an internal discussion and decided to do something. CashKaro’s in-house influencer team got in touch with The Great Khali’s manager and worked out the details for the collaboration.
The video is about ‘How Khali likes to do everything extra from eating, workout, to even shopping and saving via CashKaro’. In this video, he can also be seen giving extra jawaab to extra ajeeb comments of his trollers.
“This campaign comes under moment marketing, which gives us limited moments to lock in and roll out with the plan if we are to expect a good impact. The process is as simple as Identifying an opportunity (Troll comments on Mr. Khali’s posts), Ideate on what can be done to create conversations (A savage reply from Mr. Khali to the trollers), How can the brand be a part of this conversation in a seamless manner (subtle plugins of the brand with the keyword ‘EXTRA’), Simultaneously we also reach out to the celebrity/influencer for potential costs, And then pitch this to our senior members internally. When everything is locked in, it’s time to roll out!” shares Zayyan Waseem, Creative & Brand Strategist, CashKaro.
This campaign’s objective was to give voice to The Great Khali while building awareness around CashKaro. Waseem elaborates that when people see the brand as a part of something like this, it helps form a positive perception of the brand, hence aiding their business goals.
Men grooming brand Beardo roped in Khali to promote the 200 ml giant Charcoal activated face wash going by his personality.
The application onboarded Khali recently for the campaign where he can be seen asking his followers to make excellent and fun memes through Memechat app and earn rewards. As gratitude, the WWE Hall of fame wrestler will also review a few best entries.
Amplifying the hashtag #HeroNahiVillain, in this partnership with Villain Lifestyle, Khali could be seen undertaking a contest alert activity where he urged his fans to comment a better caption for his post to win an exclusive hamper from the brand.
Hulk Boosters brought on board Khali as the brand ambassador to endorse its product portfolio citing that the Great Khali Is a World Heavyweight Champion and the first Indian to hold a champion award in WWE history.
The meme page aimed for expanding its follower base and reach through a video association with Khali where he can be seen promoting the platform in his typical style.
The cryptocurrency exchange application where you can buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies leveraged the people’s current obsession with Bitcoins and roped in Khali to market their offerings placing itself as the safest app for investment in bitcoins.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, Khali has been associated with the celebrity engagement app Unlu, Maithan Steel as its brand ambassador and not to forget the mockumentary style film from the house of Ambuja Cement that made him a viral sensation in the ad universe.
After proving his mettle on the international wrestling stage, Khali attained instant fame and when he debuted on social media with content as unique and relevant as his honest personality, the fans couldn’t hold back from supporting and encouraging him to do more. However, the recent turn of events saw Khali too falling for the trolls.
Being opportunistic or no, brands joined the bandwagon with Khali to hit back the trollers and respond to them in a language that suits both parties. How do we maintain that balance and what should be the brands’ approach to tackle the menace of trolls?
CashKaro’s Waseem elucidates that it doesn’t take much to identify humor vs bullying. The constant requests at the cost of a person’s appearance is out and out bullying.
“Had it been humor, the frequency would be less and the ridiculousness would be tamed. Being a digital brand in the digital world, we have to make sure we understand this difference and have our brand’s narrative in the appropriate manner. Of course, we all want a little fun, and I’m sure the trollers didn’t mean to do harm. But a fun video to reply to their supposedly fun comments is a lighter way to address these kinds of issues. Hopefully, everyone gets the message,” he concludes.