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Veteran Bollywood actresses steal the spotlight on Instagram

A look at yesteryear actresses who are making a splash and cashing in

Veteran Bollywood actresses steal the spotlight on Instagram
[Source photo: Instagram/Zeenat Aman and Neena Gupta]

With Indians constituting almost a third of its 1 billion global user base, Instagram is turning out to be a powerful medium for brand endorsements in India.

The popularity of the social network extends beyond regular folk as celebrities, especially Bollywood and cricket stars, have found Instagram to be a goldmine for engagement and lucrative brand partnerships.

Today, Instagram offers a more personal and authentic connection between these celebs and their massive fan bases. A sponsored post featuring a favorite actor using a product feels more relatable and trustworthy than a staged ad with a higher production value, leading to higher brand recall and engagement.

Big names like Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, and Alia Bhatt command top dollar, fetching about ₹1-2 crore ($120,000-$250,000) per post, according to a Hindustan Times report.

But the spotlight isn’t limited to the young guns.

Here’s a look at yesteryear actresses who have struck a chord on Instagram:

Zeenat Aman

Leading the charge on this front is Zeenat Aman, who is currently impressing a new generation of followers with her wit, wisdom, and unapologetic authenticity on social media.

She shares candid photos from the past with insightful captions, offering glimpses into her life, thoughts, and experiences. It’s not just a curated image, as celebrities on social media often present.

She has amassed 674,000 followers on Instagram since her digital ‘rebirth’, when she joined the platform back in February 2023.

The revered actress is well recognized for her roles in blockbusters like Don, Dharam Veer, and Satyam Shivam Sundaram.

As everyone loves a good comeback story, brands have leveraged her growing popularity on social media and her ability to connect with diverse audiences.

Cosmetics giant Forest Essentials, smartphone brand Oppo, and fintech platform Cred are some of the brands that have roped in Aman in the past year since she made her debut on Instagram.

Neena Gupta

Powerful performances and unconventional choices have turned actress Neena Gupta into a social media darling in the recent years.

Her Bollywood comeback was facilitated by social media in 2017 after Gupta posted a picture of herself on Instagram with the caption “I live in Mumbai and working as a good actor looking for good parts to play”.

The post inspired many in the industry, including Priyanka Chopra, who felt inspired by Gupta’s honest plea. Shortly after the post, Gupta landed Badhaai Ho, a comeback film for the veteran actress that showcased her immense acting potential.

Since then, the Panchayat actress has made a space for herself on the platform, and regularly shares her takes on life through unfiltered video snippets that she shares on her account, which has garnered over 1.3 million followers.

Gupta has appeared in many Bollywood films including the blockbuster Khal Nayak and the critically acclaimed satirical comedy Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro.

Gupta now appears regularly on podcasts and freely gives interviews to talk about her projects and share insight into her life as a working actress.

She uses her social media following to endorse electric vehicle Eblu Feo and other brands through the platform, including her daughter Masaba Gupta’s eponymous clothing brand.

Neetu Kapoor

Neetu Kapoor has transitioned seamlessly into the digital age, amassing a following of over 2 million on Instagram. She regularly posts updates about her work life, family, and their achievements.

Her online presence offers a glimpse into the everyday moments that make her who she is, as she plays with her grandchildren and reminisces about old times with her late husband, Rishi Kapoor.

Kapoor’s acting stint, though short in comparison with her contemporaries, was filled with hits like Deewar and Amar Akbar Anthony. Most recently, she was seen in the comedy film Jugjugg Jeeyo.

Kapoor has been roped in by brands like Lays and Mankind’s PetStar, that have leveraged her bond with her son and acclaimed actor, Ranbir Kapoor, to promote their products.

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