Celeb memes on social media a publicity stunt?

  • Samarth Goyal, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 02, 2014 19:10 IST

Some say it’s a big publicity gimmick for the out-of-job, ­others say it’s a joke that’s ­snowballed out of proportion. Whatever the case, you can’t ignore celeb memes on social media anymore. A common feature of these amusing graphic + one-liner posters online is that they mostly take a dig at an ­emerging film or TV star, or one who has not been in news for a while.


Sample this: Actor Jackie Shroff’s son Tiger, who is about to make his film debut, is the latest meme target for his name and looks, but says he loves the attention. A Facebook meme page with the theme, ‘Alia Bhatt is so dumb that…’ has over 22,000 likes though it was created only three days ago. Others who’ve been hot subjects for memes are actors Neil Nitin Mukesh (for his name), Yami Gautam (for her fairness cream advertisement), Alok Nath (for his stereotypical father roles), Nirupa Roy (for stereotypical mother roles) and Sunny Leone (for sharing her first name with Sunny Deol and much more).

“Lampooning someone with a joke gives people the opportunity to say that they are not criticising them. What social media users don’t realise is that they may be playing into the hands of a big marketing stunt. Meanwhile, the celebrities get away by saying, ‘I can’t stop them, what’s the point because I don’t know who started it’. It’s a ­double-edged sword at the end of the day, because it also creates opinions in people’s minds,” says ad guru Prahlad Kakkar.

His view instantly reminds you of meme favourite Nana Patekar’s ­reactions to visual digs at him.

“Well, I couldn’t care less about them. Frankly, I don’t know what the Internet is. Secondly, I don’t think I have the right to comment,” Patekar recently said about his social media popularity.

Sunny Leone, meanwhile, has decided to laugh along. "You can’t stop them. So you laugh. Some of the jokes have been really funny, to be honest. My favourite one is that video with the man’s chest hair," she says.


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