How big was Ramayan?
On 27th March, 2020, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar announced on Twitter that the show would be telecast on the public broadcaster Doordarshan National. The Minister said in his tweet that the re-telecast was starting due to “public demand.”
The mythological series Ramayan was broadcasted in 1987 and was largely popular till the mid 90s. The show was telecasted in 55 countries and it reportedly earned Doordarshan 40 Lakh Rupees per episode at that time. It entered the Limca Book of World Records as the most watched mythological series.
Impact of the re-telecast
Streaming portals like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hotstar had played a major role in helping most people to get through the 21-day lock-down until now. Currently, according to the weekly television ratings of the Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC), Doordarshan’s weekly impressions were 156.4 Crores last week. Contributing factors to this were the retelecast of the legendary shows like Ramayan and Mahabharat. Also, the suspension of shooting of all current popular T.V shows. Hence, the viewership has shifted to the golden shows.
Older generations and 90s kids watched it for the nostalgia and made their kids watch it to share with them a part of their childhood and to have a collective ‘family experience’.
Most of these memes were posted on Twitter and addressed the decreased viewership on streaming sites. They used scenes from Ramayana to make templates which is where the element of hype culture factored in. The memes served as a medium of promotion for the show and led to a much larger number of people watching it.
The fact that this worked in the favour of the show without spending a dime on it is one of the strengths of viral marketing.
The memes led to a much greater level of outreach for the announcement than the tweet by the Minister. Even greater than any other promotion DD National could have done.This is because of the simple reason that today, memes have a higher chance of going viral than advertisements or paid promotions.
Memes as a part of hype culture
Hype culture is essentially what makes things go viral. Since the beginning of the re-telecast of the show, the Indian meme community has catapulted the reach of the announcement and the popularity of the show.
A person would see a new meme template on the internet and if they recognize its origin, they would relate to it and develop context so they can make memes of their own. As soon as this happens the people who haven’t watched the show are bombarded with memes on templates from that show and in order to stay relevant they watch the show or read up about it. This is how a lot of contemporary elements of pop culture receive a larger number of views.
Here are some wholesome Ramayan Memes for you to enjoy
T.V shows and web series come and go but Ramayan has proved what impact a good show can have on its audience. Let’s all stay at home in these difficult times and cherish this timeless experience while snacking on the memes.
Article written by Yusra Ahmed
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