There are no rules to virality, it happens by the nature of its being: Ram Madhvani

At Goafest 2024, filmmaker, producer, and founder of Equinox Films and Ram Madhvani Films, Ram Madhvani, delved into the intricacies of virality

Niveditha Kalyanaraman
Updated On
New Update
Ram Madhvani

Ram Madhvani

Listen to this article
0.75x 1x 1.5x
00:00 / 00:00

Mumbai: Virality has recently become a dominant concept, captivating the creative industry. At Goafest 2024, filmmaker, producer, and founder of Equinox Films and Ram Madhvani Films, Ram Madhvani, delved into the intricacies of virality. He highlighted that virality often occurs naturally, inherently driven by the content itself.

Synthetic virality

Madhvani discussed how, in contemporary times, brands and individuals can manufacture virality by manipulating view counts. 

“Earlier, when something went viral, it was a natural process,” he remarked. “Now, you don't know whether that's actually natural or unnatural, whether those numbers were bought.”

He asserted that most viral content today is not organically viral but is instead marketed as such.

Brand-client hierarchy

From the perspective of an ad filmmaker, Madhvani emphasised the importance of a clear hierarchy to avoid conflicts between brands and clients.

“We have to be very clear about your creative hierarchy. There is the client, there is the agency, then there is the filmmaker,” he explained, advocating for a brand-first approach.

Content for a miniscule attention span

The decreasing attention span of audiences reflects their reclaiming control, akin to wielding a powerful remote control.

“It is like a gun that can kill you,” Madhvani stated, noting that brands and agencies must adapt to this shift by keeping content short and to the point.

Fulfilling the ‘Consumption purpose’

Imagine coming home after a long day to relax with a series, only to be interrupted by an advertisement. Madhvani highlighted that people consume different types of content for distinct purposes—series for relaxation and mood alteration, and advertisements for promotions and information.

“When the purpose of the series becomes the purpose of the ad, and the purpose of the ad becomes the purpose of the series, that's when the consumers get disappointed,” he said, urging agencies and filmmakers to respect these boundaries to align better with consumer expectations.

Multiverse of branded films

Brand integrations are increasingly pervasive in the film industry. Madhvani pointed out that audiences are well aware of brand placements and that their engagement with films extends beyond the actors, storyline, or songs.

“Our viewers are much more than just a pure movie audience,” he stated, noting that people take away lifestyle inspiration, fashion trends, and shopping ideas from films.

Evolution of cinema

Madhvani highlighted the empowerment of audiences through the metaphorical "remote control." While cinema has evolved across various platforms, it continues to cater to a discerning and powerful audience. He believes this evolution is progressing in an ideal direction, as long as it meets the consumption preferences of the audience.