At the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, besides the participating teams and players, there is one person who is sharing the spotlight. The ‘Mauka Mauka’ actor from the ad series has seen a sudden rise to fame and is one of the most talked-about persons on social media. The ads are being talked about every day, and nearly all of them — especially the India vs Pakistan — have garnered more than two million views on YouTube. We had an opportunity — or shall we say a mauka — for a chat with Vishal Malhotra about his sudden rise to fame. Also Read - Short video app Chingari launches its first NFT marketplace, social token
“It feels really good, to be talked about so much on social media, especially for a middle class guy who worked in a corporate, and left it to pursue his dream of acting,” Malhotra says. “I just shot the ads as a professional would, never expecting it to go viral.” Also Read - Salman Khan reveals to launch his NFT collection with BollyCoin
Speaking of which, we asked him why he felt the ad campaign went viral. “In my view and from all the feedback we have got, it is the concept that has touched people’s lives,” he says. “Changing the perspective, and telling a story from their point of view is a unique concept and also one of the biggest reasons for its popularity.” Also Read - Free Fire latest redeem codes for today: Check the list of active codes, win exclusive free rewards
The campaign started out with plans for just one ad before the match between India and Pakistan. He says, “First of all it was just a one ad affair for the match between India and Pakistan, and we never expected it to become a campaign with a series of ads.”
“Going viral too was never a part of the plan,” he adds. “But within 15 minutes of it airing on the TV, the ad went viral and it was all over social media.”
The ads are aired in a gap of three of four days, which should give the team nearly no time to prepare. So on being asked how he gets ready for every ad, he says, “I never get to think a lot about how I’m going to act in a particular ad, since there was no brief beforehand.” “Everything is decided in a day and we start shooting the next day, so I don’t get the time to sit and think about how I’m going to portray a particular character,” he adds.
This sudden rise to fame also brings with it its share of problems. Not only has he been barraged by requests and messages on Facebook and Twitter, but selfie requests follow him wherever he goes. Malhotra recalls a time when he shot close to 80 selfies in a couple of hours.
“In the ad featuring Harsha Bhogle, the first part was shot on the streets of Mumbai where I walk around with a box full of crackers. The sequence involved the crew candidly shooting, and there were no cameras in sight — even I didn’t know where the cameras were,” he says.
“So all the people you see turning around and looking at me are real people, and not a part of the crew. Seeing me on the streets, almost everyone recognized me and everyone from uncles to kids wanted a selfie with me. Even in the sequence at the cricket ground, the kids stopped playing and came over for selfies, and in a matter of a couple of hours I clicked around 70-80 selfies.”
All this is good, but what about the ads that were not aired. The crew shoots an alternate ad for every match, in case India loses the match. So any plans to air these ads?
“There are talks being going on between the team and Star Sports, and there are a lot of requests to see these ads as well. As far as I know talks are going on to air these ads after the World Cup ends, and hopefully they will go viral as well.”