Memer to Counsellor: Balram Vishwakarma

Balram Vishwakarma, a 26-year-old, entered the COVID Care Centre 2 facility on May 6 after he was diagnosed COVID-19 positive. His case, however, was different from the rest.

Balram is the admin of the popular meme page Andheri West Shitposting, which has a follower count of over 43k on Instagram and 63k on Facebook.

Being tested positive for the virus comes with a lot of additional stress.

Besides having to worry about their health, they also face a high level of discrimination in society. Naturally, this can be very scary for the patients.

So when the doctors at CCC2 center found out that he is a memer, Balram was asked if he would be willing to counsel some of the patients and help them feel better, because he’d be good at communication.

Despite being scared about his own health as well as his family members who were also infected, Balram agreed to become a counsellor. 

He continued to visit the hospital even after his treatment because he felt he owed it to the BMC and wanted to do something for the patients.

Recently, his page has also become more infotainment-oriented and a source of Coronavirus-related information – especially specific details that he learnt from his experience.

On being asked about this change in content, Balram said that one needs to keep shifting their content genre to avoid becoming redundant.

Further, he felt it was his moral responsibility to take a stand with almost a lakh people listening. So he started off with raising awareness about development plans, RTI, civil rights and started voicing his opinions.

Today, memes on the internet don’t just serve the purpose of making us laugh. They have the power to influence one’s opinions and affect nearly all spheres of modern society.

As an established memer, Balram believes that the influential power memes have is immense and can affect one’s decision making. 

Memes can be consumed quickly and this factor “matches with the platform they’re getting uploaded to.”

We also talked to him about meme marketing and here’s what he had to say!

A number of brands are also going down the route of meme marketing today. As a member of the Indian meme community, what do you think is the scope for meme marketing in India today?

“There is, if done properly. Instead of appointing a creative writer from a traditional digital marketing circle, the brands really need to hire real meme makers who have a clout and accurate understanding of the need of a product which can be transformed into a basic 1080p x 1080p image. A lot of brands make shitty memes that are 2 years old dead templates and expect millenials to think the brand is cool. And when the campaign fails they blame it on the concept of memes. Brand integration in a meme needs to be really subtle, seamless and honest. I think if execution is killer, then the results are gonna be killer for a brand as well. Hence the scope is immense if they get the right person to do their hustling.”

After hearing about the immense potential of meme marketing by a prominent member of the Indian meme community, we are sure the brightest minds would want to give their brands a meme makeover!

Still confused about what goes into meme marketing?

Contact us at Youngun India to know more!

Article written by Yusra Ahmed

Team Youngun India

A team of millennials bringing Brands closer to the Indian Meme Culture.
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