As part of an ongoing series, Branding in Asia talks to influencers across the globe, learning more about how they got started, what has driven their success, and other insights to inform both brands and agencies as well as aspiring influencers.
This week we feature comedian Regan Roell (Just The Norms), a 32-year-old influencer from Mangere, South Auckland with 40oK followers across Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.
Roell first started posting in April of 2019 when he was a Telecommunications Project Manager for the North Island. His social media presence has steadily grown with people tuning in to his comedic take on the world, and earlier this year he was asked to co-host ‘The Morning Shack’ on Niu FM.
Name: Regan Roell (Just The Norms)
Hometown: Mangere, South Auckland
Current Location: I’m still in the hood
Platforms & Followers: Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok with a combined following of 409K
Brands worked with: Anchor, Subway, Primo, Spotify, Vodafone, Huawei, and many more…
Date of first post: 8th April , 2019
Agency Representation: INCA
What were you doing before you became an influencer?
It’s funny because I was a Telecommunications Project Manager for the North Island, I spent a lot of time traveling across New Zealand installing fiber internet to houses, so I guess I have had a good influence on people since way back.
A radio station approached me earlier this year loving my work on social media and now I’m a breakfast radio host on NiuFM.
What inspired you to pursue it as a career?
I think it just came to me without even knowing. I was so obsessed with creating content I didn’t even realize I was headed down this path. Soon enough, I was getting paid for my work, getting acting and hosting gigs asking to be a guest on podcasts, and then you’re just like “Wow, I’m actually an influencer.”
As you were building a following, was there a particular post or posts you felt pushed you to the next level?
Oh man, I did this voice-over video of public figures Husbulla and Abdul when they were just hot on the scene, I recreated it so they were speaking how we speak in NZ and it went crazy viral.
From there I realized that comedy can reach anyone around the world.
@regan.roell WHEN YOU HORSE IT ON EVERONE AT THE DRINK UP #nz #foryou #fyp #fight ♬ original sound – Regan Roell
What do you love most about being an influencer?
Inspiring the next! It’s our duty to not just bring joy to the world but to also help the next wave spread the laughter as well
What do you like the least?
That there is a high expectation of us. People often forget that we’re human too, we have feelings, have bad days and we can make mistakes.
How do you decide which brands to partner with, and how do you ensure that sponsored content resonates with your followers?
Shucks, over the years I’ve managed to figure out my audience now and I’ve turned down a lot of gigs due to things not aligning with what I believe fits with them.
As influencers we gotta make sure we’re not leading our followers astray simply coz we wanna make a quick buck.
WHEN YOU GET THE HAND SIGNAL WRONG 🤦♂️
What inspires you to consistently create new content?
Other content creators, when I see someone drop a new video I’m like “Okay, okay looks like I’m gonna have to make a funnier video than you lol’ nothing wrong with friendly competition.
“As influencers we gotta make sure we’re not leading our followers astray simply coz we wanna make a quick buck.”
Any tips do you have for someone who wants to become an influencer?
Don’t worry about the fame and fortune of the business. Focus on your craft and how to get better at what you do and everything else will follow.
How has your culture/family/upbringing/background helped shape the content you create?
I grew up in South Auckland, so seeing outrageous things in my neighborhood became the norm (Which is where I got my handle from). I draw a lot of comedy from those situations and experiences and as polynesians I think we’re just natural storytellers and entertainers.
What campaigns have you enjoyed creating content for and why?
I had a lot of fun creating content for Primo. It was the first time I had a jam at creating a catchy jingle and was also able to get one of my friends on the campaign as well.
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Content for Anchor was also a wholesome experience as I was able to get my Nana in on a video which she was so happy to be a part of. Both pieces had awesome interaction.
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What content are you the most proud of? Or, what is a moment in your influencer career that has left you feeling really proud?
The proudest moment so far would definitely be talking to the youth. In my spare time I’m involved with community groups who go to schools and try to get students motivated for the future.
If I’m able to inspire just one person in that room, I’ve done my job.
How do you come up with your creative content ideas? Do you have a process?
The majority of the content I create comes from nostalgia from the 90s and early 2000s. I’ll come up with an idea around that and put a comedic twist on it. I find a killer punchline for the end and everything else in between are just one liner filler jokes.