The memes are no longer considered as an underrated tool to make a point in the digital era. Instead, they have become one of the most potent social media tools that connect instantly with the masses – and liked by everyone looking to make a mass appeal – politicians and Bollywood celebrities in particular.
They get the average Indian clued to social, political and cultural issues, while guffawing at the absurdity of public life and that makes them so special. Bollywood has surely learn the fine art of using memes to its advantage, though there are some gaps too that still need to be filled.
An important phenomenon in contemporary culture
Memes reflect and shape the general mindset. Bollywood has discovered the potential of memes and there are concerted efforts now to create a new, partial narrative about a movie, web series or a lead actor – male or female.
In the recent past, there has been a flurry of memes related to web series like ‘The Family Man’ or a Bollywood blockbusters like ‘Shershah’ that helped create a favourable buzz. The content of played a key role – content that connected with the life of an ordinary Indian grappling with the day-to-day challenges of real life.
A two-edged sword
Memes as the language of social media, and a means for social commentary have emerged as an effective tool against surveillance and curbs on free speech. Memes have made opinion-making egalitarian, inclusive and democratic.
It is also true that meme-making is a minimum-energy activity, in most cases hence they become more effective specially for the promotion of a movie. There is also a chance of a meme failing to find its mark, which could be counterproductive.
Internet gives you converging knowledge, rather than diverging knowledge. Internet has been good at some low-level of information creation. Bollywood has also discovered the other side of memes the hard way.
Parody, satire and irony are a huge part of meme culture and are integral to their impact and circulation. Memes will evolve with time like any other digital media tool and that will give them that much needed image makeover that changes fortunes.
Even today, everyone is loving them, specially the Bollywood.