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I don't like the word 'influencer': Bhuvan Bam

The 25-year-old comedian and YouTuber speaks about the perks and perils of influencer marketing and brand endorsements on social media

Naandika Tripathi
Published: Jul 18, 2019 09:21:00 AM IST
Updated: Jul 18, 2019 10:48:05 AM IST

I don't like the word 'influencer': Bhuvan BamBhuvan Bam

Bhuvan Bam was the first indian YouTuber to cross 10 million subscribers. The 25-year-old talks about how YouTubers are endorsing brands on the digital platform.

Q. Is being a social media influencer sustainable?
No, it is not. I don’t get the word influencer because I don’t think anyone can influence anyone. I don’t like that word. I’d rather be called a content creator and entertainer.

Q. Do you think the digital revolution has changed things for the better?
It has. People are more aware now. Be it false information or rumours on social media platforms, they know what is happening. And digitisation has changed things for consumers as well as creators.

Q. Should celebrity endorsers and influencers also be responsible for the quality of a product?
No. For instance, a shampoo might work for me, but not suit someone else’s scalp. It’s all about staying true to your ethics. If I don’t consume a certain product and I ask my followers to consume it, that is not right.

Q. Do you agree that the digital world is giving brands and performers a mutually beneficial environment to grow? 
Yes, it helps both. A brand wants to put out its products before people through a medium and a creator is the best medium on the internet. The creator gets monetary benefit, that’s it. Nobody follows ethics these days. They sell whatever they get… God knows why! I think a majority of the brandings are happening because of the monetary aspects.

Q. Have you received backlash from fans while endorsing any brand?
Every day. I’ve been putting out swipe up links on Instagram. So I get sarcastic and funny comments like ‘Stop making content and only do brand endorsements’. They think that an artist should churn out content regularly which is not possible. 

Q. Which are your upcoming projects?
We’re working on our first long-form version of our current piece of BB Ki Vines and a YouTube original.

(This story appears in the 02 August, 2019 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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