The Many Facets of the Young

02 May,2016


By Anuka Roy


Multi-Dimensional. Open Minded. Creative. Confident. Ambitious. Smart thinker. Thought. Brave. Witty. Inspired. Mindful. Fun. These could be tagged as the many facets of a youth’s personality, as determined at the extensive research study titled ‘The Many Me Project’ at released at the MTV Youth Marketing Forum 2016 last week.


“I thought the youth was in a very bad place. But this study opened the eyes for a lot of us” said Ferzad Palia, Executive Vice President, Viacom 18, Head, Youth and English entertainment. “This is probably the largest youth study in the country. We do not know too many brands that go so deep into the youth. Unless you do this you cannot stay ahead of the curve” he added.


And, what are some of the major findings of the study? The two new words that came out this year when the youth were asked to describe themselves were: Smart thinking and multidimensional.The study also investigates on the widespread social media etiquettes and the stark difference in their online and offline personalities. This study highlighted that the today’s youth are very pragmatic in their approach. From new age gender definition and its impact on their relationships between friends, families and significant others, the research explores the youth psyche in depth. They accept and embrace their flaws- ‘flawsome’ is something MTV came up with to describe this quality. “If you see some of the superhero movies these days, equal footage is given to the superhero fighting others and fighting their inner demons. So, it is more about fighting your inner demons than conquering the world” said Chatterjee about the youth accepting their scars and flaws. Inspirational quotes are something that is shared the most by youth across various social platforms. Humour is the key weapon for this generation.


With technological advancement in internet and mobile devices, the youth gets an opportunity and exposure to be whatever they want to be. They choose and curate the best version of themselves, and there are several versions. Today’s youth are self- reflective, but not existential. Optimism is there in them but they are not impractical. They are seamless across online and offline. The Many Me headline truly captures the multi- dimensionality of today’s generation.


MTV Insights Studio, the insights arm of MTV, conducts these research studies every couple of months to understand the trends among young people. This year they conducted an extensive research exercise to understand the young people between the age group of 13-25 years, across 50 plus cities in the country, using a mix of quantitative and qualitative methodology. The focus was to understand the attitudes and desires of these 11,000 odd respondents with the help of content- what they consume and what they publish.  The study was conducted among NCCS SEC A, B, C, where the cities belonging to the category C were the new entrants in this year’s research.  They deployed interesting non-intrusive yet immersive techniques like selfie- project, peerscope, digital shadowing  along with ethnographic interviews, peer group discussions to understand the new face of young India. This year, ThirdEye Qualitative and Juxt Smart Mandate have done the fieldwork for the project.


Talking about the cities that this study was conducted, Sumeli Chatterjee, Head, Marketing and Insights, Youth Cluster, Viacom 18, said, “Some of the cities we have gone this time is, for example, Amritsar, Bhatinda, Rohtak, Mathura, Nizamabad… it is very representative of India. That is the reason when Ferzad said that a lot of the findings surprised us. We did not expect a lot of smaller cities to actually behave like this. So, it is actually eye opening for us too”


Speaking about the MTV Youth Marketing Forum 2016, Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom 18, said in a press release, “For the past 10 years, MTV has been working incessantly to understand every nuance of each interaction youngn people have amongst themselves and their media consumption habits. It is these patterns of consumption and interaction which then form the basis of everything we do at MTV.  The headline study for this year- ‘MTV Many Me Project’- has thrown up some fascinating insights into the lives and minds of this absolutely dynamic demographic.” This research is going to be used across the Viacom 18 networks to create youth centric content.


The MTV Youth Forum, held in New Delhi on April 29, was addressed by Ferzad Palia, Head, Youth and English Entertainment, Viacom18, Mike Reiss- Co-creator, producer and writer of The Simpsons, Cindy Gallop- Founder, MakeLovenotPorn and If WeRantheWorld, Will Sansom- Director, Content & Strategy, Contagious Insider,  Kerry Taylor- SVP, Youth and Music, Viacom International & CMO, Viacom UK, Shravan and Sanjay Kumaran- CEOs, GoDimensions and Yuvraj Singh, cricketer and youth icon.


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