Prioritise authenticity and relevance over quantity: Zeenat Aman on brand collaborations

In a captivating discussion at the Knowledge Seminar on ‘A Story of Adaptability: From the Silver Screen to the Mobile’, Bollywood Icon Zeenat Aman delved into some engaging conversation – right from her opinion on the Gen-Z and Gen-X led social media, to what makes ‘Zeenat Aman’ stand out even today.

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Zeenat Aman on brand collaborations
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Mumbai: Transitioning to the digital era, Zeenat Aman shared her foray into social media, initially driven by her children's encouragement. Despite initial reservations, she embraced Instagram, offering glimpses into her private life while maintaining authenticity and honesty. Aman stated, "I had been away from the limelight and I really valued my privacy." Her Instagram journey defied conventional norms, eschewing hashtags and short captions for long-form, organic storytelling.

On Day 2 of Goafest 2024, the session moderated by RJ Anmol saw Bollywood icon Zeenat Aman share insights into her remarkable journey – from the silver screen to the mobile screen. Thus, highlighting the importance of belief in oneself and the wisdom gained through experience.

Anmol commended Aman's staggering engagement rate on Instagram, surpassing renowned global stars. He revealed, "Her engagement rate stood at a staggering 16.61%, significantly higher than established stars like Jennifer Aniston (4.9%) and Kareena Kapoor Khan (5.6%)." Anmol applauded Aman's authenticity and genuine storytelling, which resonated deeply with her audience.

Addressing brand collaborations, Aman emphasised the importance of selective partnerships aligned with her values. Despite receiving numerous collaboration offers, she prioritises authenticity and relevance over quantity. Aman stated, "I really do believe that my activity on Instagram is to share rather than to propagate or sell." As of October 2024, she boasts over 749,000 followers on Instagram, demonstrating steady and organic growth since her debut in 2023.

Commenting on her future on social media, Aman expressed gratitude for the present moment and embraced spontaneity in her journey. With an unwavering commitment to authenticity and storytelling, she continues to inspire generations with her timeless charm and adaptability.

Reflecting on her early setbacks, Aman revealed that despite not winning Miss India, she channelled her disappointment into determination, ultimately clinching the titles of Miss Asia and Miss Photogenic. She emphasised the significance of giving one's all to every endeavour, a principle she has upheld throughout her career. Aman stated, "When I set out to do something, I give it my 100% and I do my best."

Anmol praised Aman's transformative impact on Bollywood, noting her groundbreaking roles both on and off the screen. He highlighted her adaptability in portraying diverse characters and bringing that change in the history of Bollywood to empower other females too, stating, "There was a pre-Zeenat to post-Zeenat Bollywood phase. Because before you entered, heroines were nothing like you or your approach to cinema as well as the offscreen persona of you." Anmol underscored how Aman's unconventional roles challenged traditional norms in the industry.

Aman reminisced about her audacious move to impress Raj Kapoor for the role of Rupa in his film, "Satyam Shivam Sundaram." She recalled approaching Kapoor in character, showcasing her passion and commitment to the role. Aman shared, "I dressed myself up in my version of his Rupa and I went to the cottage and I told his man John, he said, 'Rajji, that Roopa is coming.'" This bold move exemplified Aman's fearlessness in pursuing her aspirations.