Her show hasn’t even aired yet but Tali is already a star
The mockumentary style show follows the Sandton poppie as she deals with moving to Cape Town and having to plan the perfect wedding.
Julia Anastasopoulos, best known for her work as the quirky Suzelle DIY, undergoes a complete metamorphosis as she transforms into the blonde diva with a nasally high-pitched tone that holds onto vowels.
During an interview with Channel24 earlier this year Julia and husband Ari Kruger, co-creator of the show, spoke about the challenge of creating a new character from scratch. Back then, Tali was yet to be revealed to the public. But now a mere 3 months later, she’s a blossoming social media star with an impressive online following.
Ari and Julia managed to create a fanbase for Tali even before the first episode of the much-anticipated show aired. Together with the team at Showmax, they’ve created an Instagram star with more than 14 400 followers.
Creating an influencer
Tali is what marketers love to call “an influencer” and she labels herself a “beauty blogger” – tapping into the two richest veins of social media success. Using the two-step flow of communication model, Tali is placing herself as an opinion leader who can influence by sharing her personal experiences. She either offers a relatable opinion or simply just entertains. Instead of a traditional marketing strategy, Tali is connecting with her fans more organically without any bells or whistles. It all comes down to one thing: Good content.
You’d think Ari and Julia would make use of Suzelle DIY’s massive following to grow Tali’s online presence – but that’s not the case. Tali and Suzelle’s worlds are deliberately kept separate. Whilst Suzelle is the queen of DIY and YouTube, Tali is finding her niche on Instagram under the handle @tali_babes. There will undoubtedly be cross-over fans, but for the most part Tali is delving into a brand-new market and creating her own audience.
Tali’s Instagram first popped up in online articles and quickly became popular from there. She now shares posts almost daily, always starting her video messages to her fans with: “Hey, guyz. It’s me Tali. How you?”
Her short video clips accompanied by a ton of hashtags rakes in thousands of views and hundreds of comments. The most interesting part? In almost every comment Instagram users are tagging their friends. This digital word-of-mouth phenomenon is boosting Tali’s online presence even more and is increasing her reach by leaps and bounds. Tali, within a few months, has a fan base before the first episode of the show has even aired.
Most TV shows only start getting an online following after its premiere. In some cases, social media stars are turned into TV stars. But for Tali it’s different. Her fame has come between the filming of the series and it’s launch – a marketing masterpiece. By the time Tali’s Wedding Diary airs on Showmax the viewer will have already established a connection with the main character which will undoubtedly enhance their experience.
For Ari and Julia the online space is second nature – they’ve had lots of practice with Suzelle’s brand. From Showmax’s side they allowed complete creative freedom which saw this dynamic duo’s creativity flourish. They’re getting space to do what they do best and it’s working.
“They really are on the same page as us. They’re not trying to make our vision fit into their vision. They let us make it as authentic as we needed it to be. They gave us creative control. What’s amazing about Showmax is that they really want to create South African content. They want local content with nuanced South African characters. I think South African audiences also feel a real sense of ownership when it comes to local characters. Especially with Suzelle,” Julia said of their relationship with Showmax.
Once again Julia and Ari have created a character so life-like that her fans feel like they know her. There’s something eerily familiar about Tali. Everyone knows a Tali.
“Julia has this amazing ability to create characters that resonate in a seriously meaningful and recognisable way. I don’t know how she does it. The characters resonate in a way that is exciting and people want more of it. It becomes this addictive thing,” Ari said.
In fact the characters become so life-like that people are often disappointed when they find out that Suzelle or Tali only exist on-screen and not in reality. According to Ari they always try to introduce the characters as if they’re real. This was their approach when they created Suzelle and now Tali. They wanted both to be as real as possible.
With the launch of the show fast approaching, the spotlight is on Tali even more. She’ll surely gain a few thousand more followers before 14 December and if the first reviews by critics are anything to go by – she’ll be an even bigger star after the show has aired.
Tali’s Wedding Diary will be available to binge-watch on Showmax from 14 December 2017.
Channel24 is part of Media24 a subsidiary of Naspers.