What Ticks for Indian Consumers/Teens: Anupriya Acharya and Lavneesh Gupta

14 Aug,2014

Continuing with our extracts from the second edition of the MxMIndia Annual, we present contributions by Anupriya Acharya and Lavneesh Gupta.

 

 

The evolving teenagers

 

By Anupriya Acharya

 

While people across all age groups are evolving at a fast pace in India, teenagers are changing the fastest. They are growing up in a world with a lot more exposure, many more opportunities and a plethora of choices. As an outcome of it, they are far more informed and decisive as compared to teenagers of a decade back. They take informed decisions after carefully weighing their choices.

 

There are quite a few factors at play that are shaping up the behaviour pattern of today’s teenagers: First, digital is playing a very important role in the way teenagers are shaping up. They are way better connected largely due to social media. They have a much larger peer group thanks to their friends in the virtual world. As the entire generation, more so in urban areas, is on social networking websites, there are higher pressures on being ‘cool’ and very well connected.

 

Secondly, higher wealth levels in the country have led to higher standard of living. As a result, teenagers are getting better pocket money. Consumerism is in, and they are able to spend on things they want to.

 

Next, media exposure, social networking and peer groups all have come together to create too much pressure on ‘girlfriend/ boyfriend’ phenomenon, and that too at a much younger age. Teenagers consider it to be of great importance to have a ‘girlfriend/ boyfriend’ to hang out with.

 

 

‘Innovation in content has become the need of the hour’

 

By Lavneesh Gupta

 

Much of the growth in TV viewership is coming from the youth in the age bracket of 15-35 yrs – a segment that wants novelty. Same kind of content builds boredom and results in an overall drop in viewership.

 

Innovation in content in terms of storylines or new formats ( for entertainment channels) has become the need of the hour. For reality shows, the key learning is to keep the duration of the entire season shorter than what we are currently seeing.

 

A timeline of three to fourth months for a reality show may lose the interest of young audiences in between a season, so the focus, instead, can be towards maintaining a healthy viewership across the season, getting them hooked on to the show; not losing them in between by having the same kind of content for a longer duration. A healthy mix of all types of content too augurs well for an entertainment channel.

 

We have seen specialist channels emerge, but as an entertainment channel, one must look at genres such as music, movies, action, crime, sitcoms, reality shows, fashion, Bollywood etc for the younger audiences. Youth loves to share their opinions on issues be it national or local. Channels must provide a platform for the youth to share their views.

 

 

Thanks to information overload, there is a lot of exposure to adult themes. Thankfully, they are much better geared to handle it. Talking of studies, earlier tuitions were a taboo, and taking them was an acknowledgement of being weak in studies. However, today is the world of cut-throat competition even for teenagers, and tuitions are absolutely acceptable.

 

An interesting consequence of all the changes impacting teenagers is that being informed, having a large peer group with whom they interact a lot, teenagers today are far more expressive too. While there might be a few undue pressures on them, by and large, teenagers today are far more focussed, confident and optimistic about their future than the teenagers of a decade back.

 

They are raring to take advantage of multiple opportunities coming their way. Teenagers of today have a mind of their own and use it without hesitation or trepidations.

 

 

For the age-group which is under 21 years, entertainment channels can also look at playing a role in guiding their careers. Parents have increasingly become busy in their jobs and in pursuing their professional careers and are not able to spend much time in guiding their kids on career options. An opportunity for broadcasters to engage with youngsters. Another area which comes to mind is entrepreneurship for youngsters – shows focusing on aspects of entrepreneurship.

 

The point I’m making is that singular kind of content does not interest the youth. So it is important to have a healthy mix of content. For youth to watch fiction on a daily basis, it has to be light-hearted and not very serious kind of drama. It may not be necessarily linear – like most fiction shows are. At Big Magic, we run light-hearted episodic fiction shows which are relevant to the youth.

 

Our fiction show Raavi, for instance is a witty, quirky story of a girl who grows up disguised as a boy in a Punjabi household. It is light-hearted and episodic. In summary, singular content may not work for youngsters. A mix of content types with a light-hearted and fun loving flavour will sustain viewership amongst the youth.

 

 

On Monday, August 18: Children -Lara Balsara and Nabendu Bhattacharyya

 

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